Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1056. Mojo 47. Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank (1965)

Track Listing

1. Blues Run The Game
2. Don't Look Back
3. Kimbie
4. Yellow Walls
5. Here Come The Blues
6. Milk And Honey
7. My Name Is Carnival
8. Dialogue
9. Just Like Anything
10. You Never Wanted Me
11. Blues Run The Game (Single Version)


In Jackson C. Frank, much like in Bert Jansch you see the beginning of the singer-songwriter movement and it is a great pity in both cases that they are not more widely known as their music is indeed great.

Frank obviously derives his music from a folk background as most of the first singer-songwriters did, but his music is much more contemporary... there wasn't much folk about catching airplanes and room service.

There is a level of personal and confessional music here which is verym uch absent from those who mostly do covers, singing what you wrote about your life will always resonate more with you and you will obviously be able to emote it better than doing the umpteenth version of a Gershwin track or Reynardine. Beautiful stuff which prefigures Nick Drake and Fairport Convention as well as Simon and Garfunkel... interestingly the album was produced in the UK by Paul Simon.

Track Highlights

1. Blues Run The Game
2. Just Like Anything
3. Milk and Honey
4. My Name is Carnival

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

His 1965 self-titled album, Jackson C. Frank, was produced by Paul Simon while the two of them were also playing folk clubs in England. Frank was so shy during the recording that he asked to be shielded by screens so that Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Al Stewart (who also attended the recording) could not see him, claiming 'I can't play. You're looking at me.' The most famous track, "Blues Run the Game", was covered by Simon and Garfunkel, and later by Counting Crows and Colin Meloy, while Nick Drake also recorded it privately. Another song, "Milk and Honey", appeared in Vincent Gallo's film The Brown Bunny, and was also covered by Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, and Sandy Denny, whom he dated for a while. During their relationship, Jackson convinced Sandy to give up nursing (then her profession) and concentrate on music full time.

Although Frank was well received in England for a while, in 1966 things took a turn for the worse as his mental health began to unravel. At the same time he began to experience writer's block. His insurance payment was running out so he decided to go back to the United States for two years. When he returned to England in 1968 he was deemed a different person. His depression, stemming from the childhood trauma of the classroom fire, had increased and he had no self-confidence. Al Stewart recalled that

"[Frank] proceeded to fall apart before our very eyes. His style that everyone loved was melancholy, very tuneful things. He started doing things that were completely impenetrable. They were basically about psychological angst, played at full volume with lots of thrashing. I don't remember a single word of them, it just did not work. There was one review that said he belonged on a psychologist's couch. Then shortly after that, he hightailed it back to Woodstock again, because he wasn't getting any work."

Blues Run the Game:

1 comment:

tomas said...

just picked up this album after reading your review. it's a really lovely album and perfect for walking around san francisco on a rainy day