Buffalo, New York, USA

American Music: Country, Blues, Folk, Rock and other influences combined to form a unique sound.


The Ballad of Flatbed 2009

There is some debate as to the exact historical moment when Rock and Roll was born in America, but most agree it was conceived at the crossroads of Blues and Country music in the years following World War II. Buffalo, New York, original Americana band Flatbed taps deep into these early influences and augments their style further by including highlights from the last sixty years of popular music to form a unique yet approachable roots rock sound.

From humble beginnings as an acoustic song writing trio, Joelle Labert (vocals), Michael Tinsmon (bass), and Derek Bassett (vocals & guitars) received accolades from a local music scene generally inhabited by cover bands and tribute shows. After successful opening sets for such national acts as Carbon Leaf, Al and the Transamericans, Quick Sand, Grady and Bobby Bare, Jr., the group decided to continue embracing the historical path of American music by adding drums and electric instruments to the mix. Working under the name Flatbed, the project expanded on their existing song writing with more energetic live performances, which helped bolster their audiences and earn multiple Buffalo Music Award nominations in the last four years.

With the 2007 release of their eponymously titled studio recording, Flatbed "revealed an instantly likable, home-brewed, country-based collection of songs splitting the difference between the Cosmic American Music of Gram Parsons and New Riders of the Purple Sage and the folk-based country of Emmylou Harris" - Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News. That first studio release was followed by a collection of songs recorded in 2008 at The University of Buffalo's Allen Hall Theatre for a live broadcast on National Public Radio's affiliate WBFO. Simply titled "Live in Allen Hall", the recording captures more of the band's live stage energy and is currently available for download at CdBaby.com. Meanwhile Flatbed is currently working on a second studio project slated for a late 2009/early 2010 release.

After the departure of a few early band members, Flatbed settled into its current, more streamlined roster in the fall of 2008 and continues to gain more fans with every live performance. With the addition of seasoned drummer Ian Belknap and long-time friend Nathan Montague on harmonica and acoustic guitar, Flatbed continues to move toward the future by reinterpreting their influences and entertaining growing audiences with their original take on American music.


To Sea

Written By: Joelle Labert

Oh my love is going off to sea
Darling mother, bring him home to me
Keep him safe, keep him warm
For very soon our baby will be born

This day came word my love he cannot be
For stolen overboard by the rages by the sea
So I weep, for my love won't return
From now until forever, my poor heart will yearn

Despite my tears, a smile on my face
For one day again, my love I will embrace
His words do come, carried on the breeze
His touch it warms as the sun looks down on me


Written By: Derek Bassett/Joelle Labert

It's been good being here with you
and I'm grateful for that
But it's time to go, maybe I'll see you later
put my foot along side that radiator and ride

Time to go 'cause now they know
that I'm not quite who I am
Always try to live up to the life
but here I am failing again

Then I'll ride
'til they don't know who I am
Then I'll lie
and make them think that I'm a better man

Things I've done and things I haven't
have all turned out the same
Think I'll find a way to lead a better life
and then I'll go and buy a better name

Time's run short, map has too
I have no one left to blame
Someday soon I'll find a place to root
But as for now the travels will remain

Then I'll ride
'til they don't know who I am
Then I'll lie
and make them think that I'm a better man

A better man I know I could be,
if only those gates open and set me free.
I'll bet it's like I've been told,
you can forget the debts you've owed.
And, let that world blur by as you ride on down that road.

Then I'll ride
'til they don't know who I am
Then I'll lie
and make them think that I'm a better man

The Darkness

Written By: Joelle Labert

Let’s keep this between you and I
The walls, the floor, the fading sky
The lamps are off, the sun is set
Our eyes haven’t adjusted to it yet

If we take this as far as we can
Maybe then you’ll know who I am
Shadows of doubt cast aside
No longer a need for a place to hide

If you’re goin’ my way, and you’ve got time
Take my hand and we’ll find
The light of a new day

“She addressed her world honestly searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her…” (Jonathan Safran Foer-Everything is Illuminated)
Everything, everything’s inspired

Don’t let the darkness fool you
I’m reaching out, too
There’s a light waiting to be found
Buried love, illuminating out

If you’re goin’ my way, and you’ve got time
Take my hand and we’ll find
The hope of a new day

Living Ghost

Written By: Derek Bassett

It came on rather suddenly -
happened unexpectedly -
and it soaked through my skin—like summer rain.
I felt a rush of blood again.
Damn near almost felt alive -
when I brushed up against—a faint outline.

Spent ten years or maybe more -
in a downward drunken stare -
but sunken eyes may see—what sober won’t.
Back out on the street again -
several blocks from that green door -
I ran smack dab into—a living ghost.

Maybe we both had too much -
but you always looked good high -
when the rain played off that frame -
as the sun still shined.
As the crowd grew thick that day -
damn near almost swept me away -
until I ran smack dab into—a living ghost.

40 Miles

Written By: Joelle Labert

Travelin' the country
All the state lines I cross
And all the time I feel so lost
Makin' the days seem long
But it's 40 more miles to my love
40 more miles to my love
Still workin' my way
All the strangers I see
But the one he waits for me

More confused than I was before
Will never quite erase the picture of that door
As it closed
Slammed upon my smile
Now it's 40 more miles and I'll be home
40 more miles and I'll be home
Never felt this far before
Let me find some comfort there

One year later and I'm movin' again
40 more miles to the site of my grave
Well the whiskey, didn't keep me warm at night
And the one timers left me wanting
Oh, the death of our love
Something I could not survive

40 more miles and I'll be gone
40 more miles and I'll be gone
40 more miles and I'll truly be home
Oh, truly be home


Flatbed -- Self-titled debut. Released in Spring 2007
Live in Allen Hall -- Released in January 2009