Watch Blues Master Kirk Fletcher’s "Afraid to Die, Too Scared to Live" Music Video

Kirk Fletcher
(Image credit: Mitch Conrad)

Recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, blues guitar master Kirk Fletcher’s new album Heartache by the Pound is due to be released on July 29th via his independent label Ogierea Records. 

Ahead of the album’s release, Fletcher has dropped the lead single "Afraid to Die, Too Scared to Live" accompanied by a stylish film noir-esque music video.

I’m a bluesman, and I write about life

Kirk Fletcher

Following up 2020’s My Blues Pathway, this self-produced collection of soulful, gospel-flavoured numbers has been cited as Fletcher’s most personal and powerful work to date.

“I got back to my gospel and blues roots,” Fletcher says. “I really wanted to do a blues record, so I sat down and allowed the songs to take over.

"I’m a bluesman, and I write about life. That’s the concept.”

Kirk Fletcher 'Heartache By The Pound' album artwork

(Image credit: Ogierea Records)

Following the Covid lockdown, Fletcher returned to the U.S. from Switzerland where he had been holed up writing new material in collaboration with bassist Richard Cousins (The Robert Cray Band, Van Morrison.)

Entering the hallowed ground of FAME Studios for a three-day recording session, Fletcher’s backing band comprised some of the best players around, notably keyboardist Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Buddy Guy, John Mayall); drummer Terrence F. Clark (Robert Cray Band, Joss Stone); and bassist Randy Bermudes (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Charlie Musselwhite.)

“FAME is the mother church for soul music,” commented Fletcher. “It’s the same building where all these fantastic people like Otis Rush and Aretha Franklin have recorded.

“I wanted the vibe. I needed to bring these songs there.”

Pre-order Heartache by the Pound here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.