You’ve heard of death metal; well, this here is death country-folk, and a more gruesome collection of songs you will not hear this or any other year. Bob Frank is a California-based, 62-year-old, late-blooming maverick roots singer-songwriter who once played with the likes of Townes Van Zandt; he has teamed up with John Murry to make a “murder ballads album,” but instead of revisiting the familiar catalogue of traditional tunes, they’ve written 10 of their own, based on actual events, and notably shorn of any moral tone. This makes grim if compelling listening — murder, rape, pillage, nooses, knives and mayhem — from the story of Little Wiley Harpe in 1805, to Bubba Rose’s dark deeds in 1961. The music is suitably sepia-toned, hushed vocals cowled in a gaunt mesh of steel guitar and evocative picking. Not easy to like but impossible to ignore. — Joe Breen, Irish Times.
sample: ‘Joaquin Murietta”
World Without End