Furious Frank is a formidable yet friendly group of Chicagoans who, on their debut album The Hobocamp Mud Show, are diligently working at the perfection of a unique yet warmly familiar brand of rootsy sonic spillage. Sometimes they are raucous and celebratory, at other times gritty and introspective; they can vamp, chug, clang, wail, groove, pull bow and pluck (and strum) string, one moment recklessly rocking the party and then at another expertly bringing down the level of intensity just enough so that two people can, if they so choose, clasp hands and sway.
Furious Frank can concoct some wicked gypsy ska on Another Life , border on something approximating a low-key collaboration between Tom Waits and Calexico on Hunkr Down , and most importantly, bob and weave into a heavy handful of welcome areas that are much less easy to define. Suffice to say, the band kick up some serious dust that just screams out for a bonfire and a large metal pot full of some sort of simmering sustenance, an epicurean delight that s destined to be ladled out liberally for the enjoyment of everyone.
But the band (at just the right moment) wet down the ground that s hosting their righteous get-down with the intention that the limbs of those cavorting to their sounds will joyously stomp into the moist soil and allow the thick earthiness to get between their toes and through their pores and into their blood and (finally) into their hearts and consciousness. That, bluntly put, is what Furious Frank and The Hobocamp Mudshow is all about. Getting dirty never felt so liberating.
Ya dig? --Joseph Neff, Winchester Va