Frank Bey review..August 27, 2018….

FRANK BEY

BACK IN BUSINESS

THE NASHVILLE SESSIONS

NOLA BLUE RECORDS   NB 006

BACK IN BUSINESS–GUN TOTING PREACHER–TAKE IT BACK TO GEORGIA–COOKIE JAR–THE HALF OF IT–WHERE YOU BEEN SO LONG–BETTER LOOK OUT–AIN’T NO REASON–BLAME MOTHER NATURE–GIVE IT TO GET IT–YESTERDAY’S DREAMS

Frank Bey now hails from Philly, but he was born and raised in Millen, GA.  He’s been singing since age four, and he and his brother plus two cousins toured the South singing gospel as “The Rising Sons.”  Frank joined up with Otis Redding at age seventeen, and he’s never looked back.  Oddly enough, he ventured to Music City for perhaps his most satisfying album to date, working with producer Tom Hambridge (who adds drums on the set), for “Back In Business,” on the NOLA Blue label.

We’ve had the great pleasure to have heard Frank before, and he possesses a classic soul man’s voice–that big, booming baritone that calls to mind Solomon Burke, of the greats who have passed, or Johnny Rawls, who’s still bringin’ the heat.  On this set, some of this town’s best are on board as backing musicians.  They include Rob McNelly on guitar, Marty Sammon on keys, Tommy MacDonald on bass, and Tom on drums, who wrote or co-wrote six of the eleven cuts.

Just like a lot of us, Frank’s had some health issues, but the title cut leads off and sez it all–“I’m Back In Business now,” a boisterous shuffle that chronicles his “story to be told!”  A strutting, funk-o-riffic groove backs Frank’s story of that “strong Georgia boy” with that “sawed-off 12 gauge” by his side, the “Gun Toting Preacher!”  The sly-and-sexy humor of his lover and that ol’ “Cookie Jar” has Rob laying down an ice-cold Albert Collins groove, and Frank goes back to his gospel roots and being “baptized in the Muddy”as he details a singer who had a “Greyhound P.H.D,” for “the road was her schoolhouse,” the testifyin’ “Give It To Get It!”

We had two favorites, too.  A scorching slow-blues closes the set, as Frank laments a life of what might’ve been,  where “the blues is my life today,” the poignant “Yesterday’s Dreams.”  And, the lyric says it best in the classic soul sound of “The Half Of It,” because this one is “spine-tingling,” indeed!

Frank Bey has one of those voices that they just don’t make anymore, and he’s garnered the nickname of “The Southern Gentleman of the Blues.”  We’re gonna give him another one, with all due respects to Slim Harpo, because he’s a “King Bey, baby!,” and he’s sho’ nuff “Back In Business!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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