Chris Flegg is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from St Albans but I won’t hold that against him. Twenty’s Plenty is a collection of twenty guitar instrumentals, some of which have appeared before and some of which have had words attached. For the afficionados, Chris plays a Martin OMC-41 in standard tuning in playing these new versions, some of which originally date back to the 1970s. Doubtless experience and better technology have played a hand here.
The opener, ‘Market Street Rag’, is a bright way to start off, the standard ragtime feel being interrupted by patterns of descending chords. Both ‘Gazing At The Stars All Night’ and ‘Her Favourite Flower’ were title tracks from earlier albums – Chris has made a lot of records. ‘Chasing Cuckoos’ is a combination of two tunes, the main part being a delightfully simple theme with cuckoo calls played on harmonics; one for the playlists, I think.
‘The Day That We Planted The Apple Tree’ is another tune that became a song, it’s origin being a busking improvisation but the rest of the tracks were, I think, written just as instrumentals incorporating jazz, 70s pop, 30s swing, a waltz and more fingerpicking. The bossa nova tinged ‘I’m Going Home’ breaks the pattern by formerly being a song as does ‘Old Soldiers’ but all the tracks have been reworked and reinterpreted for this album.
An unbroken sequence of twenty instrumentals on just one solo instrument could get a bit samey but Chris avoids that by mixing styles and not letting any one tune outstay its welcome. With summer coming and the chance to mingle outdoors (perhaps) Twenty’s Plenty could be an album for your barbecue or picnic.
Artist’s website: www.chrisflegg.com
‘Chasing Cuckoos’ – live at home: