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The Jelly Roll Kings – Frank Frost & Sam Carr

The Jelly Roll Kings - Frank Frost & Sam Carr Artist: Frank Frost & Sam Carr
Album: The Jelly Roll Kings
Release Date: December 18, 1998
Duration: 42:53
Genre: Blues
Styles: Electric Delta Blues, Regional Blues, Soul-Blues, Juke Joint Blues
Recording Location: Sonny Boy Williamson Memorial Music Hall, Helena, AR

Recorded in 1998 in the Sonny Boy Williamson Memorial Music Hall in Helena, Arkansas, this pares the blues down to a bare-bones sound with Frank Frost on vocals and harmonica (piano on one track) and Sam Carr on drums (vocals on one track, “Owl Head Woman”), tied together with the overdubbed guitar work of producer Fred James, who also provides the unobtrusive bass parts in the background.

The result is a very modern-sounding (i.e., powerful) production that nonetheless keeps the format so astoundingly simple, it seems like a throwback to an earlier time.

Even better is that all of the material on here is original; only a solid remake of “Jelly Roll King” (previously recorded by Frost for Sun) interrupts the flow of new songs, all of them firmly in the Delta juke-joint tradition. There’s something very alive about these recordings, even with James’ overdubbed guitar or bass work, that has as much to do with the sound of the Music Hall as the performances themselves. Highlights include “Let’s Go Out Tonight,” “Love I Have Is True,” “Sittin’ On Daddy’s Knee,” athe low-down instrumental “Mess Around,” Frost’s out-of-tune piano playing behind Carr on “Owl Head Woman” and the Bo Diddley-like closer, “Done With Me,” all representative of loose, wonderful, down-home blues playing captured raw, alive and exciting.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Let’s Go Out Tonight / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 3:02
It’s Cold Outdoors / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 4:07
Jelly Roll King / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 2:35
Love I Have Is True / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 3:01
Helena Hop / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 3:22
Sittin’ on Daddy’s Knee / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Frank Frost 4:41
You Took All My Dough / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 2:51
Baby Please / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 4:39
Mess Around / Frank Frost / Fred James Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 4:07
Will It Be You / Frank Frost Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 4:28
Owl Head Woman / Sam Carr Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 3:45
Done With Me / Frank Frost / Fred James Frank Frost & Sam Carr feat: Sam Carr / Frank Frost 2:15
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