A Review of the Bob Franke CD
"The Other Evening In Chicago"

"The Other Evening In Chicago"
by Bob Franke

Copyright 2005
Telephone Pole Records

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Bob Franke is hereby enshrined into the pantheon of singer-songwriters whose music will resonate far beyond his mortality and be meaningfully enjoyed by generations.

In a play of words off his decades-ago second release "One Evening In Chicago," this is Bob Franke in concert, specifically WFMT's Folkstage. The twin lures of this recording are experiencing both a Franke concert and, for the very first time, a collection of his marvelous artistry.

There are very, very few performers who can point to a portfolio such as this: "Alleluia, the Great Storm Is Over," "Hard Love," "For Real," "A Healing In This Night," "Thanksgiving Eve" and "A Still Small Voice." All these 'desert isle musts' appear on this release.

The binding theme of many of Franke's songs is healing or attempts at such. In fact, all of the above-listed songs involve such direction.

For the uninitated, "Alleluia, the Great Storm Is Over," covered by many other artists, is an inspiring lullaby that can be compellingly sung solo or with a rollicking choir of voices.

"Hard Love" is a gritty, haunting tale of like father, like son. As Franke sings to a lost mate:
"...It was hard love, it was hard on you, I know
When the only love I gave to you was love I couldn't show
You forgave the heart that loved you as your lover turned to go
Leaving nothing but the memory of hard love..."
"For Real" is a priceless guide to living life.. The chorus:
"...There's a hole in the middle of the prettiest life
So the lawyers and the prophets say
Not your father nor your mother
Nor you lover's gonna ever make it go away
And there's too much darkness in an endless night
To be afraid of the way we feel
Let's be kind to each other
Not forever but for real..."
'Thanksgiving Eve" continues the theme:
"...What can you do with your days but work & hope
Let your dreams bind your work to your play
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love til you've loved it away..."

With "A Still Small Voice," one of his earliest gems, Franke is as literate as ever. Writing of answering a calling and heeding one's quiet conscience, he mixes real life events and biblical references with the personal in an oh-so-genuine look at how to live a full life.

Franke himself kindly best sums up the effect his work has on listeners, with this snippet from "A Healing In This Night":

"...There are words that change the way you look at things
There are sounds that silence idle talk
And there are songs that circle in your mind and seek your heart
and find it, and seize it like a hawk..."

Get all these and more with this CD. There is Bob Franke, the humorist, in "Acid Polka;" a touching tune for his daughter with "Love Bravely, Elizabeth;" the biting "Collateral Damage;" the spiritual "Source;" the touching "Sleeping Hearts" and more.


Track List:

All songs written by Bob Franke. Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.

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