This JUST in… the first review for Ride The Iron Road, and boy is it a nice one!! See the post here (at the bottom).
Franc Robert-Ride The Iron Road
Blue Chihuahua Records BCRCD-005
Ride The Iron Road finds Franc Robert going back to the basics…man and guitar facing an audience, no back-up, no second chances and no apologies. This is blues the way it was in the beginning and this is how Franc Robert has chosen to present himself now…raw, hardcore and real as the day is long. Robert is as good as any I’ve heard when it comes to slide guitar better than the vast majority. While I hate to draw comparisons I hear elements of John Hammond and more. This cat, great as he is, draws his strength from past experience and from the excitement of the moment. He is one of those guys who have honestly been around the block more than once. This is not some schoolboy “wannabe,” wanting to be the next Robert Johnson. This is someone who had been through the school of hard knocks, has had his share of bad times and a few good ones as well. He is an exceptional storyteller, telling his stories as only a man who has been there and done that can he weaves his tales in music and word, painting a vivid picture that stays with the audience long after the performance is over. The compositions on the disc are all written by Franc Robert with the exception of three traditional tunes reworked to fit his style with care taken to do justice to the originals. Robert plays with power and passion, telling his stories in such a way that the listener takes part in the memories, both good and bad. He sings of sin, redemption and social issues that take their toll on each and every one of us. What I ultimately find most interesting is the sheer honesty as he opens his heart, exposing his most private thoughts and feelings to the entire world. This is a true bluesman, one who sings from the deepest regions of his heart and soul. Seldom does an artist open himself up to this point but it is this honesty that gives his work its power and the ability to cut straight to the heart of his audience. With that said, I urge all of you who like blues in its purest form to look into it, give the samples listed below a listen and judge for yourself. This is one recording I can recommend highly and without reservation. From “Honey What’s Wrong?” which has a sound not unlike the early “field hollers” which were rhythmic and sung in the field to make the work move more smoothly, to the closing number, “Sunday Morning” which is an instrumental piece that says so very much without the use of words. I grow more impressed with Franc Robert with each new release. Whether solo or with his band, The Boxcar Tourists, this is blues through and through. – Bill Wilson