June 2007

Kelly Flint - Drive All Night
BeBop Records BP0-1018
Format: CD
Released: 2007

by Joseph Taylor

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ****

Kelly Flint is the vocalist for Dave’s True Story, whose jazz-influenced pop has developed a strong following. Flint has spent more than a decade giving voice to the songs of DTS guitarist Dave Cantor, but with her debut disc she strikes out in another direction. Drive All Night could be described as folk rock or Americana, but the emotional complexity and melodic freshness of Flint’s songs makes me reluctant to consign her to either of those genres. It’s enough to say that fans of Dave’s True Story will find Flint’s solo work satisfying, even though the roots are different.

Flint writes songs about life, friendship, and loss. "Drive All Night," tells the story of two friends who drive "just to be driving" when one of their own dies. In "Blood and Bone," Flint sings, chillingly, "You were my mother/I was your prey." Her cover of the Moody Blues’ "Story In Your Eyes" underscores the song’s mixture of sadness and hope far more skillfully than the original. Flint never over sings. Her time as a jazz singer shows in the subtle emotional shadings of her voice and her intelligent, careful approach to her lyrics.

Producer Jeff Eyrich has given Drive All Night the same care he gave his work for Dave’s True Story (he is that band’s bassist and plays on this disc as well). He blends the acoustic and electric instruments well and places percussion and backup vocals so they support Flint’s vocals without drawing attention away from them.

The singer/songwriter field is crowded, but Drive All Night puts Kelly Flint near the front of the pack.