Album Credits


Local Musical CDs Yield Interest
By Bill Massey
Eastern Shore Post
May 31, 2000

For the land of pleasant living that has a population barely reaching 50,000.  Virginia's Eastern Shore has quite a lively music scene, not just in local performers streching their popularity and name recognition to beyond our two counties, but in recording projects too.

One of the best contemporary blues CDs released in the late '90's was Guitar Slime Jr's "Nothing Nice."  It received excellent nationwide reviews in many major blues magazines, and the material of the CD is still the most requested of Slim in his native New Orleans appearances.  Recorded in Memphis, New Orleans, and Virginia Beach, the project was initialed and then supervised by Billy Sturgis of Franktown for his then-fledgling Warehouse Creek Recording Corporation.

Now, as summer approaches, Warehouse Creek Records has just released it's second blues effort, "Franktown Blues," by the Crudup Brothers.

It is excellent throughout.  Many of the songs were written by legendary blues artist Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, who spent most of his last 20 years in the Nassawadox-Franktown are where he was employed as a migrant crewleader by day, while at night he performed his original, Mississippi Delta-style material in local "race clubs."

As a child, Sturgis was strongly attracted to Crudup's music, and he got the idea of having Crudup's songs interpreted by his sons, James, George, and Jonas, during his studio sessions with Guitar Slim Jr.

In 1969 and '70 the sons, in their own right, had performed up and down the East Coast, from New York to Florida, as "The Malibus," but by the mid-70's they had disbanded and gone their separate ways.

With the aid of local relative, and "Franktown Blues" producer Tim Drummond, Sturgis located them.  An informal session was arranged among the brothers, Sturgis, and Drummond, and it quickly became apparent to them that the three sons hadn't lost so much as a note.  Consequently, plans for a recording were informally launched.

"That's All Right Mama" starts off this highly energized contemporary blues CD.  As well as being a rock and roll classic by Elvis, the song was Big Boy's signature, but "Greyhound Bus," "Mean Old Frisco Blues," "Old and Grey," and "Look on Yonders Wall" are also included to represent Big Boy's timeless blues writing.

The sons, too, contribute their songwriting ability on four numbers; another eight are by various artists, and they all add up to today's blues performed at their best.  With the addition of the Memphis Horns, and outstanding instrumental solos by the likes of Lonnie Mack, Tim Drummond, Mike Utley, and Greg "Fingers" Taylor, one couldn't ask for a more professional sound.  And, just as importantly, the CD never loses it's pacing.  One doesn't get halfway through listening and become bored.

In "Franktown Blues," ever song is a keeper, and the vitality of the blues never compromised.