Brother Trucker "The Flyover" With their long-awaited fourth CD, The Flyover, Des Moines-based roots-rockers Brother Trucker finally present another heaping helping of their literate, soulful and cinematic brand of earthy, 'pan-Americana' music. Cranking out a heart-felt, dynamic and (as needed) proudly raggedy-assed sound that taps into the likes of Neil Young's splintering Crazy Horse, The Faces, The Stones, myriad assorted Dylan combos, Southern rock and the heartland/populist themes of Springsteen and Mellencamp, the lads of Brother Trucker provide spot-on backdrops for the extraordinary, wrong-side-of-the-tracks tales spooled out by co-founder and resident singer/songwriter Andy Fleming. Recorded in 2005, The Flyover continues to extend the ever-rising arc etched by the band's recorded work but, as Fleming puts it, "a whole lot of life went on between recording and releasing" the album. Including marriages, two births, two members relocating - changing jobs ect... events that put The Flyover on hold for too long, yet it remains a remarkably vibrant and relevant piece of work. With it's title referring to the vast expanse of the heartland that's regarded by denizens of 'major cities' as little more than in inconvenient space between 'real' destinations, the allegorical The Flyover once again showcases Fleming's wondrous gift for illuminating lives in the margins-of the ignored, the luckless, the forgotten and the invisible, self-destructive beings who've fallen through cracks in a society that's off the rails. It's an evocative, often-chilling narrative that interweaves tales of "Billy" (whose dreams of pro baseball dissolve into a dead-end roofing job), "Downtown"'s homeless Nathan, the substance-/physical-abuse cocktail of "Heartbreak Rd.", the dissolute, embittered football coach of "Home Cookin'," the loneliness of the long-haul trucker of "Overtime," the displaced, neglected refugee of "Joseph (A Lost Boy No More," the doomed, early morning bar-heist of "Something Big," the rapid-fire, Boss-meets-Chuck Berry adrenaline rush of "The Friday Night Fight" and the nightmarishly-hellbound dysfunctional "Family Reunion." Laced with booze and powder, dogged by catastrophic choices and economically pinned to the mat, these are people whose hopes have all but evaporated, yet the stories are buoyed by compassion, empathy and Brother Trucker's exhilarating, dynamic arrangements. Brother Trucker's fully-loaded, five-piece format remains one of the most flexible, energetic and inspirational combos in the Midwest, but on any given night, you may very well find them in a variety of configurations, including Andy solo, Andy and co-founder Mike Fitzpatrick (as an acoustic duo), Andy, Mike and Bassist, Lyle Kevin Hogue (as 'The BT3') ... In every case, what you will get is to-the-bone, passionate musicianship steeped in pan-genre, rockyroll classicism that's deeply, artfully connected to the very heart and soul of the Iowa/Midwestern experience. --Jim Musser May 2008.