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Author Topic: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind, Flyright FLY CD 66  (Read 2920 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind, Flyright FLY CD 66
« on: July 08, 2004, 03:00:27 PM »
PROGRAM:  Gone With The Wind; Lonesome Road Blues; Digging My Potatoes/Who's Been Fooling You; 90 Going North; Nobody's Darling But Mine; Got No Lovin' Baby Now; John Henry; Mean Old Frisco; Railroad Bill; Trouble In Mind; Where Could I Go But To The Lord; This Heart Of Mine; Blood Red River; Sing Sing Blues; I'm Talking 'Bout You; C. C. Blues; You Rascal You; Old Blue; Who's Been Fooling You 

I recently picked up this CD of Delaware Country Bluesman Frank Hovington.  It is a Flyright release (manufactured in the Czech Republic!), and was recorded by Blues researcher Bruce Bastin and Dick Spottswood on two days at Frank's home in 1975.  I have an earlier release of most of the material on a Rounder album which I believe never survived into the CD era. 

Frank presents an odd case of a Country Bluesman who people knew about, but who none the less almost went without being recorded at all.  He was discovered by John Fahey, who saw him playing on his porch when driving by, and drove back to hear what he sounded like.  This was several years prior to Frank being recorded.  In fairness to the people who knew about him but did not record him, Frank seems to have been a kind of diffident guy who didn't seek out the limelight.

The program is very generous here, with 19 tunes, in a nice combination of East Coast standards and complete surprises.  Standards include "Digging My Potatoes" "Trouble In Mind", "Railroad Bill", "John Henry", "Old Blue", and "Blood Red River".  Frank has a nice quality of always bringing something new to the evergreens he performs.  His version of "John Henry", in open D with a slide, has an epic quality and many verses I have never heard elsewhere.  Similarly, he plays a bridge on "Railroad Bill" that was new to me.  He does a great version of "Lonesome Road Blues" that I used for the C and E lesson that was recently posted.  Like many Blues singers, he particularly shines vocally on non-Blues material, and he does great versions of the old country tune "Nobody's Darling But Mine" and the hymn "Where Could I go But To The Lord".  He shows a lot of key variety, with tunes in A, C, G, and E standard, dropped D (an instrumental, "90 going North") and open D.  Moreover, he does two tunes on 5-string banjo, showing a predilection for that instrument shared by John Jackson, Elizabeth Cotten and Etta Baker. 

Frank's musical individuality shines throughout the program, particularly with regard to his phrasing, which while not necessarily conforming to the common Blues forms, manages to keep a strong rhythmic flow going at all times.  The music sounds home-made in the best possible way.  I'm enjoying the CD a lot, and I like the idea of a musician like Frank Hovington coming from so near where I grew up.  I wish I had gotten a chance to see him sing and play.
All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2006, 05:00:05 PM by Johnm »

Offline jed

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 08:04:33 AM »
Thanks for an insightful review, John.  It stands to reason that Delaware, the well-known corporate-friendly state (with "same-day" incorporation service), would be home to at least one bluesman of note.  Stefan Wirz's site shows that his Rounder LP was the same record as Flyright 522.

Wirz has posted a full Hovington discography (with the exception of the original LP and re-releases, it's comprised of compilations with one or several of his songs) here: http://www.wirz.de/music/hovinfrm.htm.  It includes Bastin's liner notes from the earlier Flyright release.  With interview and history, it presents an illuminating picture of Frank Hovington's life and times.

Cheers,
Jed
ok then:  http://jed.net

Offline Slack

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2004, 10:09:27 AM »
thanks for the review John (and the links Jed).  As you know, I sure enjoyed the cut on your C and E Lesson - and I would like to hear more.  Any idea where one would buy Fly CD 66?

Cheers,

Offline Johnm

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2004, 10:56:23 AM »
Hi all,
Thanks for the additional info, Jed.  I don't know who handles US distribution, John D., but the CD came with an insert that says, "To receive a free catalogue that includes releases on: Harlequin, Flyright, Heritage, Country Routes, Krazy Kat, Travelin' Man and Magpie, send a request with your address included to:
   Interstate Music
   20 Endwell Road
   Bexhill-On-Sea
   East Sussex TN40 1EA
   England
I'd be interested to know what additional titles they have.  Incidentally, the CD comes with very complete and detailed notes by Bruce Bastin.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2004, 07:35:37 AM »
Just reviving this thread to say I have really been enjoying the Frank Hovington material on the Juke. Really great stuff.

Offline frankie

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2004, 07:46:46 AM »
I'll say!  He's got a great sound!

Offline Slack

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2004, 07:53:48 AM »
Gotta agree, I've had this CD in my car player for most of the last two weeks.  He has a strong preference for the 2 finger "Delta D" chord - which I like.

Offline rjtwangs

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind, Flyright FLY CD 66
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 11:39:22 AM »
I've been listening to this cd for the last few days nonstop....I love his playing and have been working on his great version of " Lonesome Road Blues " and " Blood Red River " a wonderful cd! For those who may want it it is available here:

 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Y22Y/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


 

Offline oddenda

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Re: Frank Hovington--Gone With The Wind, Flyright FLY CD 66
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 03:23:34 AM »
     Frank was one that "got away" from me, but one cannot "do" them all. From the Fahey connection, he opened for Dr. Ross at Yale University one time. My sister's then-boyfriend (a Yalie) told me about him and that he was really good - I had thought about going through DE to record him on one of my field recording trips South. The basic details on his location were passed on by me to Bastin, and he and Dick ended up recording him. I regret not meeting him, but one lone guy can only do so much and he did get put on tape.

     The initial Flyright and Rounder LPs were identical; the most recent CD on Flyright (still available from them) has additional material. I believe that the LofC supplied the equipment to Dick and I believe that the original tapes are on file at the Archive. Frank as wary about recording payments might interfere with his Welfare payments in some way - he became "Guitar Frank" for for Axel K?stner and Siggi Christmann when they taped him in 1980. One of the marvelous "unknowns" (to us White European folks) who accidentally was recorded; there were many many more who were not "discovered" - serendipity is a bitch! Like Pokemon, one cannot get them all!

pbl

pbl

 


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