"Frankie's Blues Mission made sure their Pee Dee Blues Bash debut was an auspicious one, taking the audience by storm with two shows of bone-shaking West Side blues and soulful originals. One listener closed his eyes and swore he was listening to Magic Sam!"
--- Gary Erwin, promoter for the Low Country Blues Festival and the Pee Dee Blues Bash 2011
"From the echoes of fellow Georgian Johnny Jenkins’ distinctive guitar chords in the first bars of the opening original I’m So Lonely Since You’re Gone, there’s a sense that this group has something special going for it. There are six more originals on tap, of which the minor-hued Lyin’ Thinkin’, the strutting title track, and the soulful I Need Me Some You sport Robinson vocals, while the other three are instrumental features for his guitar and producer/engineer Martin Kearnes’s keyboards, with the Jenkins influence surfacing again on the aptly titled Soul Shuffle and more of a jazz feel on Blues for C.K. and McDaniel Street. The cover selections are all well done,
as the slow blues Five Long Years and When a Guitar Plays the Blues (from Robinson’s mentor Roy Lee Johnson) bring out some of Robinson’s most emotive singing, Woke Up This Morning brightens the tempo and Who’s Been Talking provides a perfect vehicle for Robinson’s shimmering guitar lines and his mates’ skin-tight backing.
Unlike the typical “no label/no number” vanity disc, Sleepin’ Dog boasts a fresh sound firmly rooted in, but not bound by, local tradition. It’s not just the same old blues, and deserves to be picked up for wider release."
--- Jim DeKoster, "Sleeping Dog" CD review, Living Blues Magazine
"Frankie’s Blues Mission is an Atlanta-based trio that plays it pretty close to traditional blues (especially Chicago West Side blues) and R&B, adding their own touches of soul and jazz to their sound. Their debut release, Sleepin’ Dog, bears strong witness to their artistry.
Frank “Frankie Lee” Robinson has been immersed in the blues since his early days….his father managed several bands in the southeast Georgia area. When Robinson moved with his family to Pennsylvania in his early teens, he discovered an old Kay acoustic guitar that had been left in their new apartment. He began to learn to play (taking lessons from Georgia blues/R&B legend Roy Lee Johnson at one time) and when the family moved to Atlanta when he was in his late teens, he saw B. B. King perform and knew he wanted to play the blues (wonder how many people B. B. King has influenced over the years?).
Robinson formed Frankie’s Blues Mission in 2000 ... All three have years of experience playing blues, R&B, and jazz, and while the roots of their music is the blues, they’re not worried about taking things in other directions when so moved. Sleepin’ Dog consists of 11 tracks, seven originals by the band. The opener, “I’m So Lonely Since You’ve Gone,” despite its mournful theme, pops along against a funky backdrop. The title cut is a tough West Side shuffle, featuring harmonica from Vince Alexander, and “I Need Me Some You” has a great guitar intro from Robinson. There are also three instrumentals – “Blues for C.K.” showcases Robinson playing some particularly grungy guitar, “Soul Shuffle” is a tight soul groover, and “McDaniel Street” leans toward the jazz side of blues.
There are also five solid covers, notably Roy Lee Johnson’s “When A Guitar Plays The Blues,” and two fine tributes to B. B. King (Eddie Boyd’s “Five Long Years” and “Woke Up This Morning”). The band’s take on Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” is also very good, staying pretty true to the original.
The band does an excellent job in support, and the addition of Martin Kearnes on keyboards for several of the tracks is an added bonus. An already great product is made even better thanks to the production skills of veteran Rodney Mills, who’s previously worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Tinsley Ellis, and Sean Costello,
If smooth urban blues and R&B are your bag, you need to check out Frankie’s Blues Mission first chance you get."
---Graham Clarke, "Sleeping Dog" CD review, Blues Bytes
"Thanks again for a great show Frankie!!! Great job- and sounded fantastic!"
---Carl Pruett, promoter for the Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival
Frankie's Blues Mission is a well kept secret in Hot-lanta. They have released an eleven track CD titled "Sleepin' Dog". This is REAL Blues, played the way that it is supposed to be played and presented.
Many Blues groups today profess to be a Blues band, but are really Rock groups. Frankies's Blues Mission's aim is to play authentic Blues and that is just they do. You will like the rhythm of the guitar, Bass, drums and Frankie Lee's lead vocals.
The CD opens with "I'm So Lonely Since You're Gone", which is a nice track that features guitar and vocals out front. The track "Lyin' Thinkin'" is a great Blues guitar instrumental track. The track "Five Long Years" is a deep Blues groove much like Jimi Hendrix's "Red House". Real Blues showmanship is on display with the track "When a Guitar Plays the Blues" and is reminiscent of T-Bone Walker or Freddie King.
A Frankie Lee original track is titled "Soul Shuffle", which is a soulful Blues. They even tackle a B.B. King composition "Woke up This Morning" that is superb. There are
more tracks on the CD that you will enjoy. When you listen to this CD you will know that this "Sleepin' Dog" has arisen."
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