Thursday, April 12, 2007

In House #1847: Ron Franklin's City Lights; Blues Traveler in Pocatello Tonight

There's not a wealth of information around about singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ron Franklin. He's been in a few bands, managed to play with some Memphis legends here and there, and self-released a handful of albums. Though some sources call him Memphis-based, others describe a permanent itinerant, spending time far and wide in whatever towns his fancy takes him. Franklin's general demeanor is little help. He's unforthcoming with personal details in interviews, from his early background to his exact age, in the process creating a bit of mystique around this guy that sings something like early Dylan and plays a mix of country, blues, gospel, boogie woogie, and R&B. City Lights, his first release with a proper label, distribution, and promotion, was released earlier this year on Memphis International. In addition to the songs themselves (nine originals, an arrangement of a traditional, and Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days"), the album is impressive in its production values, or decided lack thereof. The result is a true "oldness" to the sound, primal, sincere, almost as if recorded by accident. In the mix is none other than the legendary player and producer Jim Dickinson, lending his considerable talents to keys. Franklin, meanwhile, seems to be a man out of time, with one foot on Leadbelly's porch and the other in The White Stripes' garage.

Also today, music from Blues Traveler, playing tonight on the campus of Idaho St. University. First rising to fame in the mid-90's on the strength of songs like "Run Around," and "Hook," the band has maintained a loyal following of fans despite a diminished presence on commercial radio. The band is fronted by the heavily armed John Popper, who also knows his way around a gob iron. Showtime is at 7:30 in Holt Arena.

In House #1847.
Airdate: 4/12/07
Focus: Debut full-length from Ron Franklin, City Lights, plus Blues Traveler plays Idaho St. University in Pocatello tonight. Also, new music from The Mother Hips, Wilco, Tori Amos, and more.

Ron Franklin, from City Lights:
  • "Little Suzie" (MP3)

    The Detroit Cobras, from Tied & True (due 4/24):
  • "As Long As I Have You" (MP3)


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