by Dave Segal
on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM
I wish that more of today’s Americana groups would emulate Henry Flynt and stop sucking the soul out of the Band, Neil Young’s Harvest, and Poco. Born in 1940 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Flynt is an American avant-garde/minimalist violinist and philosopher who draws on hillbilly music and the blues to forge incredibly riveting compositions that radiate a powerful soulfulness despite (because of?) the academic rigor with which he creates his music. Flynt's masterpiece, “You Are My Everlovin’,” is perhaps the most poignant long-form drone piece I’ve ever heard. Play it at someone’s funeral and watch the room flood with tears.
Flynt gets to the essence of his instrument and locates the motifs that move you most. He can make his fiddle whine and grind like a rusty barn door, and it’s absolutely adrenalizing. Granted, the innate cosmic and hypnotic qualities of Flynt's music are more difficult to master than the familiar, well-worn country-folk-rock tropes modern Americana bands pump out. But it would be invigorating to hear more young musicians strive for something deeper than whatever it is the Avett Brothers and their ilk are giving us.