Stephen Flatt “Cumberland Bones”

Independent, 2021

How to get country music out of americana.

So, what would be the current relationship between ‘standard’ country music and Americana? Well, maybe we can craft a variation there on one of those standard sayings: ‘You can get Americana out of country music, but you can’t get country music out of Americana…’ And such a saying would be quite applicable to ‘Cumberland Bones,’ the debut album by Nashville artist Stephen Flatt. If his last name sounds familiar, yes, he is from ‘that’ musical family.

One of the first questions that come to mind listening to this album would certainly be – how come a musician with such an assured sound and musical span is only now coming up with a debut? But then, it essentially makes no difference. Flatt has all the elements that make modern variations of Americana down to a tee. From the more rocking style of ‘Hold You Tonight’ to ‘real’ country of ‘El Camino’ to the combination of the two (‘Brother’) with a nice dose of outlaw singer/songwriters (‘Logan Creek’) and then back to ‘family tradition’ of ‘White County Shine.’

And then ‘Cumberland Bones’  makes all those rounds over again and shows that Stephen Flatt is an artist who has all the key elements of a current Americana sound finely tuned. A force to be reckoned with.


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