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Attack of the Bluesmen from Outer Space!

The Flying Saucers.

Blue. . .Bluer. . .Bluest

(Lyracon)

What is it about Jeff Carpenter's Al Fresco Place Studios? It is as if anything recorded in there just has this verisimilitude of real life. Think of the artists who have recorded there: Bryan Hurst, Heidi Howe, Danny Johnson, Lexington's Crown Electric and, of course, Tim Krekel, the ones whose music already has the lyrical bite of reality, whatever magic is in Carpenter's place just infuses the work that is made there with a certain vibe, just as whiskey soaks up the sugars and color of the wood of the barrel it gets placed in after it ferments. And, oh, how sweet it can taste.

Add another band to the roster of Those Who Al Fresco has Touched: The Flying Saucers. And the Carpenter engineering touch is evident in their debut release Blue. . .Bluer. . .Bluest, a dozen tracks of honest, earnest music. In short, it's nothing but blues.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Dale Cashon has rounded up a solid lineup of local performers to form The Flying Saucers, including session drummer John Hayes, bassist Jason Cashon, keyboardist P.M. Brown and guitarist Roz Tate. Together, they cruise through a collection of blues, both bouncy and smoky with lots of horns in the background, that's worthy of anything to ever come out of Muscle Shoals or the Stax studios.

Of all the tracks, though, two truly stand out for their lyrics. The first is "Pencil Thin Love," about the kind of people who are stingy and chinchy with affection. The money line of the song? "Christmas is coming up soon / You're giving me something real cool / But, baby look under the tree / Old Spice and socks is all I see."

The other is "Dear JoAnn (Iraq Blues)," told from the point of view of a solider who's angry that he has to go serve, pained that he has to leave his woman behind, scared that he won't make it back. But he has that moment of clarity when he says, "Honey there's right / Honey there's wrong / And I'll give you up for awhile / If it means there's a tomorrow for you."

The history of blues is filled with songs about struggles like that. They happen ever day. Nothing is ever truly easy. We wouldn't learn anything if it were. The blues is life. That's something The Flying Saucers remind us. It can go from just being blue to being the bluest possible. But there's always the spark of something that keeps it from going completely black.

Cross into the blue at www.myspace.com/theflyingsaucersband.

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