Thursday, May 24, 2012

CD Review: Chicago Artists Bring The Deep South Up North

When you have a lot of music to release, why not just release two debut albums, instead of only one now and one later on. This is exactly what singer/songwriter Jonas Friddle did along with his band The Majority. The two albums ("Belle de Louisville" and "Synco Pony") were released back in February and are making noise in the Chicago area, selling out shows at The Hideout.

The classic sounds of the deep south come pouring through the speakers in the opening song, "A String To A Bell" on the "Belle de Louisville" album. Jonas Friddle and the Majority turn things into an old-fashion hoe-down with "Jordan Am A Hard Road To Travel," before slowing down for the country-folk sounding "Waltzing Away." The band displays some nice harmonizing in "Kitty Alone" before the album closes with the clap-along beat of the "When I Hit My Stride."

While the band's overall sound varies slightly on "Synco Pony" the songs seem to have a darker tone like "Napoleon Complex" and "George Walker." The dixieland jazz comes shining out on the "Wall Street Rag" and the band pays tribute to everyone's favorite news anchor Tom Brokaw with the lullaby "Tom Brokaw Blues." The album finishes with a live version of "The Hipster" which is based on a newspaper article.

Jonas Friddle and the Majority will be performing at the 100th Birthday Celebration of Woody Guthrie at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago on June 30. For more information, please visit

Also from Chicago comes Americana folk band Furious Frank with a new album entitled "The Map & The Territory." While Furious Frank don't quite travel as far south as Jonas Friddle with their sound, but hearing songs like "Lonely Tombs" and "Medford" definitely place you out in the country. The band finally come to life on "Whiskey Row" as the up-tempo music and storied lyrics make a great combination. Furious Frank does a little experimenting on "In Good Time," adding some electric guitars and horns to the mix. They pick things up on "Peaceful Living" before closing the album with the Tex-Mex sounds of "Czech Xmas in Texas" and "Hobo Insurrection From Space."

Furious Frank have a couple upcoming shows out in the Midwest. For a complete list of dates and more information on the new album, please visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

.. thanks for sharing.