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Non-Prog CD Reviews

John Flynn


Review by Gary Hill

There was a time in the 1960s when folk music really ruled much of the musical world. If John Flynn had been around then, he would have been one of the biggest performers of the pack. His brand of country-tinged folk music is so classic. It's also so strong. I'd say that more than anything else he makes me think of Arlo Guthrie, but not the meandering funny stories, but rather the music. Another difference is that Flynn's voice is deeper and much better than Guthrie's. This is a great album. There is no weak material, but the center of the album has the strongest stuff, I think.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at
Track by Track Review
Standing Ovation

There is very much an old school folk vibe to this cut. It's a mid-tempo number that makes good use of harmonica. It has a definite rock element to it, too. There is some country in the mix, as well.

The title track is more of a rock song in a lot of ways. It's a classy folk based tune for sure. Saxophone is a nice touch. I like the fast paced vocal delivery on this. The whole song just works really well.
I Need You
A song that was written by George Harrison, this is a gentle ballad. It gets rather involved in terms of the layers of sound on it, but it remains mellow throughout. Some of the guitar bits even lean toward jazz.
Buffalo Nickels
This might be my favorite song here. It's built with a lot of country music. It's a driving, energetic tune that works so well. I can't get enough of this one, really.
Don't Just Do Something (Stand There)
I really like this ballad a lot, too. It's another of my favorites of the set. The sound is classic and works really well.
Between the States
I love the country music that's built into this number. The vocal performance is among the best of the set, too. This is another highlight of the set for sure. It's more of a rocker than some of the rest, but is mid-tempo rather than fast paced. The keyboards on this are classy and the whole thing just oozes cool.
It seems like this middle section of the album just doesn't let up. Here we get another powerful folk styled ballad. There is a lot of rock music built into this number. It is also full of power and style. There is a big infusion of hard rock in the later section of this cut. That's boosted by a great electric guitar solo.
Another balladic cut, this might not be the instant standout that the last few tracks have been. That said, listen to some of the subtle musical elements that slide across this arrangement. You'll find that there is really a lot of magic here.
Get up (Tracy G's Last Will and Testament)
This reminds me a bit of " Down on the Corner" by CCR at the beginning. I love the horns and other elements on this tune. It's a playful kind of jam. It's a toe-tapper for sure. There are even some hints of Island music later in this tune.
If I Fall Behind
This folk ballad is another classy cut. It's perhaps a bit more understated than some of the rest. It holds up well, though.
Just Like Merle Haggard Said (Sing Me Back Home)
With that title, you'd expect some definite country here. This has some bluegrass at the start. The song proper seems to merge rock music with folk, country and more.  This does get a minor parental advisory on the lyrics. This has a lot of energy and oomph.
Help Me Make It Through the Night (feat. Kelly Kristofferson)
This duet is very much an old school country ballad. It's incredibly classic in sound and incredibly cool.
Backstage with the Devil
Acoustic guitar is the sole accompaniment for Flynn's vocals. This arrangement works really well, allowing the words to really shine. This is a classy ballad.
Mercy (Reprise)
Demonstrating truth in advertising, here we get a reprise of the title track. It's a classy way to end a classy album.


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