FRANK, BOB-ST (1972 stoner rock) CDLITA
Originally released in 1972 on Vanguard Records, Bob FrankÕs self titled debut album took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infused with FrankÕs long-time friend, Memphis guru Jim Dickinson. Dickinson and Frank shared a mutual admiration that ran so deep that on DickinsonÕs own 1972 debut album Dixie Fried (released on Atlantic Records) he recorded one of BobÕs songs, ÔWild Bill Jones.Õ Despite the Dickinson/Memphis connection, Bob FrankÕs only LP for Vanguard has remained a forgotten, hard to find vinyl relic. Carefully re-mastered from the original tapes, historical maverick (and noted expert on the Memphis scene) Alec Palao recently interviewed Frank in detail and assembled a lengthy essay for the CD and LP liner notes that detail FrankÕs personal and musical journey. As Dickinson once deadpanned, ÒBob went to Vietnam and Nashville. I donÕt know which was worse.Ó It was also an itinerant period, when Frank spent many a stoned evening staggering alone through the mid-south urban gothic landscape of church steps and sleaze bars, with his guitar glued to his arm, if not an actual extension of it. Songs would emerge from dreams or drunken visions. But this was not artless acid folk, but a series of picaresque, well-sketched vignettes delivered in a clearly-enunciated vernacular, and all very much in FrankÕs own style.