Cory Wong and Mark Lettieri announce the return of the Fearless Flyers

Funk guitar royalty Cory Wong and Mark Lettieri have announced they’ve reassembled their crew of Fearless Flyers for a new album, Fearless Flyers III.

Available to preorder now ahead of an unspecified release date, Fearless Flyers III sees electric guitar powerhouses Wong and Lettieri reunite in the studio for the first time since 2020’s Tailwinds, which was followed by last year’s Flyers Live at Madison Square Garden record.

The Vulfpeck and Snarky Puppy guitarists will be joined, as always, by Wong’s full-time bandmate, bassist Joe Dart, and drummer Nate Smith.

Despite the name, it will in fact be the fourth time the band have joined forces. Aside from Tailwinds, the quartet combined for their 2018 debut LP and 2019’s The Fearless Flyers II.

To preview the upcoming offering, the group have dropped Patrol Acrobatique. It’s only 96 seconds long, but the level of technicality on display is pretty astounding. In just over a minute-and-a-half, Wong and Lettieri flex their surgically precise musical chemistry, bouncing off each other with some of the tightest clean tones we’ve heard all year.

It also demonstrates their individual qualities: Wong’s right-hand-fueled rhythm chords are, as always, executed to perfection, while Lettieri’s fierce lower-string riffing – a key aspect of his baritone playing – doesn’t miss a single beat. 

The lo-fi-style video is a little fuzzy, but that’s definitely Lettieri’s PRS Fiore signature guitar sitting in his lap, while Wong also looks to be sporting his named Fender Stratocaster model.

Fearless Flyers III

(Image credit: The Fearless Flyers)

Patrol Acrobatique will be joined on the tracklist by four other originals – Running Man, Three Basses, Flyers Funk and Vespa – as well as one cover: a rendition of Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years.

Fearless Flyers III is available to preorder now via a crowdfunding initiative on QRates. At the time of writing, the quartet have received 3,247 backers despite having an initial target of 2,000.

Now, this is the part of the story where we marvel in amazement at Cory Wong’s unrivaled musical productivity.

We’re only four days into February, but Fearless Flyers III already marks Wong’s second project of the year, having released Wong’s Cafe last month.

Lettieri, meanwhile, dropped Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2 last year, and teamed up with PRS in early January to release a new-look, Larkspur version of his Fiore guitar.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.