AN EVENING OF MUSIC WITH JOHN THE FRANKLIN by Marilyn A. Hudson (2013)
"A hot August Sunday was drawing to a close as the boats zip past on the lake and some steer toward the docks at Clear Bay Café. They join a line of boats bobbing in the water. All around come diners seeking the air-conditioned dining room or the casual comfort of the deck or patio, the views of the water and the food. Some, like tonight, are also here to enjoy live music on the deck. Tonight the group is Norman based, John the Franklin.
JTF is a three-member group playing an eclectic mix of acoustic-electric “rock and roll memories”. They do not limit themselves to one era or genre, while favoring some popular lite rock numbers; they explore regionally popular country, songs from the 70-80’s and some indie original numbers penned by one of the group. Over the years the group has played for the Komen Run, assorted corporate celebrations, numerous local resturants and many events.
Band members include the very gifted led guitar of James Massie. In warming up, his nimble fingers ran the gambit from “Classical Gas”, a heavy metal riff and some highly technical finger moves. Later on, his solo riffs were featured in their rendition of “Blue Bayou.”
Vocalist, guitarist and manager is Frank Barry. He is the voice of the group in more ways than just singing. With great ease and casual air, he introduces the songs and the members of the band, all the while setting a friendly tone with his patter. His smooth, mellow singing voice is enjoyable. Playing professionally for some twenty years, he has the confident stylings of a veteran performer. Frank Barry and James Massie also play in another group focusing on a harder rock and country sound called Full Circle.
The bass player for JTF is Marvin Hudson and he brings a steady basso line to the numbers. Using a walking bass style, he easily utilizes both classic jazz and rock maneuvers as he brings those crucial rhythms to the performance.
It is clear the group really enjoys playing and that radiates to the audience. As the sun begins to fade, bringing a refreshing cool note to the evening, the tables begin to fill.
From lite rock to country favorites, the group demonstrates their versatility. Their repertoire for the evening included covers of classics but also originals by leader Frank Barry.
|Marvin J. Hudson|
The tip jar was busy, always a good sign for any musician. Eyeing the crowd, the tapping toes, the nodding heads, and the smiles all told their own story.
Catch John the Franklin at some upcoming events at the Newcastle Casino, the OU Sooner Bash, and the Native American Winery, just to mention of few of the places that they will be visiting this fall. They also do private and corporate parties and events. Find them on Facebook, through Box Talent, and on Instagram."