When it comes to getting personal in a song, there aren’t a whole lot of country groups as adept and skillful as Flat River Band are in most every song they record, and in their fifth studio album, the retrospective Every Dog Has Its Day, they impart one provocative country tale after another as though we were sitting with the power trio around a blazing flame in the wilderness. The fireside storytelling is perhaps the most endearing quality to be enjoyed in Every Dog Has Its Day’s most powerfully emotional tracks – “Beauty Amongst the Trees,” the title cut, “Wings of a Rumor” – but let me be perfectly clear when I say that there isn’t a single instance where Flat River Band shortchange listeners with the commanding harmonies they turn out in tracks like “John R. Brinkley,” “In Another World” and “No Hill for a Climber.” Iconic American imagery finds itself intertwined with deeply personal poetry in every song here, and for most country connoisseurs, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Most of the tracks on this record feel like they were composed specifically for the stage, and I must admit that I couldn’t help but wonder what songs like “Wings of a Rumor” and “Devil on the Side” would sound like if Flat River Band were to stylize them in more of a freeform jam than a standard start/top format as they do for the purposes of making this album. Every Dog Has Its Day concludes with so much force and energy that playing the record all over again is an urge almost too tempting for even the most disciplined of listeners to resist, and when taking into account how many different ways they could break this content down in a live performance, I can see this setlist becoming one of the more well-received of any they’ve worked with. I would really like to find out for myself in the near future, and hopefully with the buzz surrounding this LP, they’ll treat fans to a proper tour in 2020. There’s a volatile country music market prime for the taking right now, and with chops like theirs, they could absolutely make a play for the big time in this new decade.
Flat River Band have truly outdone themselves with this latest release, and if their goal was to raise the bar for both themselves and their scene in 2020, to say they were successful with Every Dog Has Its Day would be too grand an understatement for me to make. There’s a little bit of everything for audiences here – shades of country, bluegrass, folk, Americana, the western singer/songwriter style, you name it – and though it might be a mixture the group’s fans have come to know quite well in the last ten years, it’s one that I don’t see people getting sick of anytime soon. These guys are still doing some awesome work, and if you haven’t heard their music already, this LP would be an unbeatable way of getting a glimpse at their likeable, unpretentious personality in action.