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Music Review - `Flying First Class` by Pete Mancini (lz)

Pete Mancini -- Flying First Class    (click on image to watch video)

 27 June 2019



Beginning with his band Butchers Blind and continuing through a pair of solo albums and an EP, Pete Mancini has demonstrated a lucid sense of what Americana music ought to sound like in its most natural form. Flying First Class, his excellent sophomore set reflects that cool confidence and an ability to vary his motif without distancing himself from that essential element. Certain songs -- “Casino Lights,” “The Day I Stopped Running,” “DUI Blues” -- find him bringing back echoes of early Eagles, in terms of both tone and temperament, but it’s mostly due to the fact that, like Henley, Frey, and company, Mancini is an expressive songwriter who never hesitates to wear his emotions on his sleeve if that’s what it takes to share his sentiments with his listeners.

At times, Mancini’s inclination to dig deeper into his own inner psyche brings with it a sense of both pathos and purpose. Opening the album with the remorse and regret inherent in “Pine Box Derby” suggests a tendency to purvey a more forlorn feel. (“It hurts like hell to lose someone you love,” he moans.) Likewise, “My Hometown,” his earnest ode to the place he calls home, might, under other circumstances, find him in a Springsteen-like setting, and yet the ringing guitars and soaring harmonies bring him far closer to Byrdsy terrain. “Cease & Desist” traverses similar environs as well.

Still, to his credit, Mancini doesn’t confine himself to anyone pastiche. The tangle and tension of “SLA Check” suggest a general cynicism that’s clearly pervasive in these taut times. Likewise, “Back in Bakersfield,” with its fiddles and mandolins, expresses his affection for that storied city with clear conviction. “Flying First Class,” an unabashed rocker, reflects the fact that Mancini isn’t shy about declaring some dogged determination to keep his audiences on edge.

Mancini’s knack for maintaining a roots rock regimen is admirable, and the fact that’s he’s able to purvey that down-home demeanor without sounding overly affected or like some sort of preening pretender is further credit to his credence. Hopefully with Flying First Class Mancini will get that ticket to the wider acceptance he so decidedly deserves. 


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

To Read All of Lee's Reviews, Click Here






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