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Last of the Good Guys

One Flew South

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Album Review

One Flew South is almost disarmingly old-fashioned: not old-timey, or even a throwback to classic country, but rather a revival of the harmony-heavy, mellow country-rock of the '70s. All through their 2008 debut, Last of the Good Guys, the trio of Royal Reed, Chris Roberts, and Eddie Bush harmonize like the sons of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Poco, and the Eagles, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that this sound caught the ear of J.D. Souther, running mate and songwriter for the Eagles. Souther co-wrote several songs on Last of the Good Guys, helping to give the album an authentic, laid-back '70s vibe, but the trio is sharp enough to draft in Marcus Hummon — a writer behind hits for Rascal Flatts and the Dixie Chicks — to give this a modern pop flair. Indeed, the two songwriters even collaborate on "It Is Good," a tune that perhaps favors Souther's sensibility, yet the entire album does achieve a delicate balance between his warm, relaxed, soulful, soft rock and Hummon's gift for contemporary adult pop, but too much credit shouldn't be placed at these writers feet, as One Flew South are very much their own band; they're just working with a kindred spirit. Their harmonies are easygoing and plentiful. Eddie Bush co-writes half of the album's 12 tracks and plays some gorgeous guitar; Chris Roberts has five writing credits; while Royal Reed (who has three credits) is an appealing, everyman frontman, all things that give them their own identity as a group. And the most appealing thing about Last of the Good Guys is that it is a record where the sum is greater than the individual parts; it's subtle, well-crafted music that comes on smooth yet lingers after it's finished playing.

Biography

Formed: 2005

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

A country-rock harmony trio in the tradition of the Eagles, Poco, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, with a little Alabama and the Beach Boys thrown in for good measure, Nashville-based One Flew South actually have their origins in New York City when El Paso-born Royal Reed and New Orleans-born Chris Roberts met while appearing in the Broadway musical The Civil War in 1998. Also appearing in the production was country vocal legend Larry Gatlin, who became a mentor to Roberts and Reed and suggested they...
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Last of the Good Guys, One Flew South
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