Blues guitar ace Kirk Fletcher has dropped the title track from his forthcoming studio album, Heartache By The Pound, which is set to arrive later this month.
Employing a feel-good bounce and an easy-going groove, Heartache By The Pound is quintessential Kirk, serving up the same crop of irresistible electric guitar melodies and infectious vocal hooks that previously lead him to his five Blues Music Award nominations.
As for what goes on in the six-string department, there’s a joyous double-stop riff that lures listeners in and returns as a reprise sporadically throughout the song, as well as a smattering of subtle lead lines that punctuate Fletcher’s vocals.
Of course, there’s a guitar solo in there, too – one embellished BB-style bends and slinky turnarounds – which is accommodated by a snappy, supremely clean tone.
Said tone is probably the result of Fletcher’s custom-made, natural-finished Gibson Murphy Lab ES-345 named “OgieRea”, which, according to the blues titan himself, he used on most tracks on the new album.
Of his new single, Fletcher offered, “Heartache by the Pound is a celebration of life and its many ups and downs, and expressing it in a relatable way to the common man and woman. Also a great song for [a] barbecue in the backyard with family and friends.”
It’s the second single from the album, which was first previewed with the release of Afraid to Die, Too Scared to Live last month.
“I really wanted to do a traditional blues album,” Fletcher said at the time. “So I sat down and the songs took over. As I started to write the songs they had a mind of their own.
“I was very inspired by Albert King’s record Born Under a Bad Sign,” Fletcher added. “Albert did all different kinds of songs on that record, but at the end of the day Albert was a bluesman. So whatever I do it’s through the eyes of a bluesman.”
Heartache by the Pound was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, and features drummer Terrence F. Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble keyboardist Reese Wynans, Joe Sublett on saxophone, Mark Pender on trumpet, and Randy Bermudas and Travis Carlton on bass guitar.
“FAME is the mother church for soul music,” Fletcher said when the album was announced. “It’s the same building where all these fantastic people like Otis Rush and Aretha Franklin have recorded. I wanted the vibe. I needed to bring these songs there.”
Heartache by the Pound is available to preorder now (opens in new tab) ahead of its release on July 29 via Ogierea Records.