Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007




Bob Frank was a coffee house singer in 60s Memphis and a friend of Jim Dickinson. His take on ‘Wild Bill Jones’ appeared on Dickinson’s Dixie Fried album and it led to a Vanguard contract. An eponymous release of 1972 is now as rare as hen’s teeth, as were sightings of Frank for many years.

It transpired he’d been in Oakland and resurfacing with the new century he turned out three new albums, revisiting old songs and older companions. Dickinson produced 2002’s Keep On Burning.

Now for World Without End he’s teamed up with John Murry, sometime member of Lucero, and they’ve made a very singular recording. It’s a collection of murder ballads, freshly written and telling real stories in new ways. Macabre and eerie, their settings and arrangements sometimes support and sometimes contrast the tales being told; a couple of tracks have an almost carnival feel to them. They run the gamut from simple folk styles to post-rock dissonance.

It’s a parade of unreliable narrators, legendary outlaws, and mythical figures. From the killing of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, to the life and bloody end of Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murietta whose severed head passes around a saloon in a jar, to the matter of fact tale of Bubba Rose’s inexplicable slaying of his boss. Most shocking of all is ‘Jesse Washington 1916’. Be wary of hearing this tale of a lynching in Waco from the victim’s perspective; it’ll haunt your dreams.



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