“… an engrossing acoustic adaptation of the 456-stanza 15th century narrative poem.” — J.R. Nashville Scene
Sample: First Fit: Little John, Much and Scarlett bring the gentle knight to the greenwood tree to eat dinner.
“This is one of the best CDs I’ve bought — and I buy tons of em. This guy makes this 15th century poem totally accessible. You get completely wrapped up in the strange universe of Robin Hood, and at the same time you almost feel like you’re listening to a Clint Eastwood movie. It’s just a guy and his guitar, but the impeccably played music provides leitmotivs for the characters and emotions that sucks you in. I hope this is only the first in a series of CDs that updates the bard tradition. People I know who are into James Bond love this CD.” — Jane Lanctot.
Praise from Fans and Professionals
What happens when a 20th century songwriter meets the oldest Robin Hood ballad in the world?
“This is how they must have done it, this is how all of them did it. This is how Homer did it.” – Douglas Gray, retired Oxford Don.
“Your performances were fantastic — you can imagine what it sounded like when it was performed 500 years ago. You may not realize it but, linguistically, the American Southern dialect is directly related to the Midlands dialect of Middle English! Yes, it is true.” – Thomas Ohlgren, Professor of English, Purdue University, editor of Medieval Outlaws and co-editor of Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales.
“Bob Frank has earned his place in the 700 year old tradition of troubadours who have rhymed of Robin Hood. Somewhere, those who sang, those who wrote down and those who lived the events he sings about, are smiling.”
– Seth Feldman, creator of the Canadian radio show, “Hunting Robin Hood.”
Bob, who earned a degree in English from Rhodes College in Memphis, translated the 600-year-old poem, A Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hode, first printed by Wynken de Worde in the 1500’s, from late Middle English into modern English, preserving the rhyme and immediacy of the legend. And then he set it to music. Encouraged by Professor Thomas Ohlgren (Purdue University), Bob performed the first two fits at a Robin Hood Conference at the University of Western Ontario in June of 2001. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Professors asked for a CD that they could use in their classes to awaken an appreciation for the old literature in their students.
“Many thanks for doing this — your performance was the high point of the conference for me.” – Richard Green, Professor of English, University of Western Ontario.“I was expecting something off-puttingly authentic and instead I got something that sounded alive. It seemed to me that you struck the exact right balance between introducing variations in the walking base line, the modes, and the rhythms for the purposes of drama without going too far. I think that’s what made listening to your version of the Gest so completely delightful for me.” – Chris Chism, Professor of English, Rutgers University.
“I really look forward to hearing the Gest on a CD. I think my students would very much appreciate it.” – Stephen Knight, Professor of English, University of Wales, co-editor of Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales.
All of this enthusiasm, and support for a recorded version of Bob’s performance of the Gest from these professors in the UK, Canada and the states, inspired Bob to put the entire Gest on a CD with original guitar accompaniment. In order to retain the immediacy and life of the poem, he committed the entire 456 stanzas to memory.The CD, A Little Gest of Robin Hood, is now completed. The response continues to be enthusiastic. Bob has been invited to perform the Gest at the world’s largest Medieval Congress, held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, in May of 2002.
“I have indeed listened to it and loved it — I really had expected to be disappointed just a little, because your own live performance was so good, but so much was conveyed that I was completely delighted… I’m buying them on behalf of students (in my next semester course which is still in the future).” – Chris Chism, Professor of English, Rutgers University.
“I’m really in awe of the witty modernization of some lines very, very impressive. And your delivery is just perfect! Dramatic, witty, warm, thoroughly human it really demonstrates that the Gest was meant to entertain people, not sit in some dusty book on a dusty shelf. I think you’ve done the legend a great service.” – Allen Wright, webmaster of Robin Hood, Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood.
“Hi Bob, I’d like to order five copies of your CD 2 for faculty, 1 for the library, and 2 for students. I’ll announce the availability in my Robin Hood class next semester.” – Thomas Ohlgren, Professor of Medieval Studies, Purdue University.
“Hi Bob, This is great and just before Christmas! I am just slowly easing my way into the Middle Ages in my classes, so, if I can receive the CD in the next couple of weeks I can play it for them.” – Laura Blunk, Professor of History, Cuyahoga Community College, Highland Hills, Ohio.
“Dear Bob: I received your CD today in the afternoon . It’s GREAT!!! Congrats!!! All my team group of teachers were delighted the way you could transform something hard to be understood by kids (mainly non native ones) Thanks a lot once again and let me know your address to send the CD back to you. It really fits for kids aged 11 on …Best regards for you and your family.” – Mary Joe Areso, a school teacher in Argentina.
“My course that includes Robin Hood is taught Feb-May. I’d order a CD for me and a couple for our library and recommend the students to buy it.” – Helen Phillips, Professor of English, Liverpool, England.
A lot of folks are really excited about this latest development in the oral tradition of a beautiful old Medieval ballad. But don’t take their word for it. Order a copy of A Little Gest of Robin Hood today, and see – or hear – for yourself what all the fuss is about.
A Little Gest of Robin Hood