Friday night, it was a the last night in the month of August and I was driving downtown to The Listening Room of Mobile to see a fella named Frankie Boots…I have a feeling it is not his real name, maybe his stage name…either way all I had to hold onto was Frankie Boots.
As you would envision, he wore a large white cowboy hat (the good guys wore white). His shirt was a simple tee shirt with the words “From Graceland With Love” (plus it looked like it was autographed by Elvis himself). A very large belt buckle dawned his waist and it peeked out from under his guitar as he played his powerful tunes. Of course he wore boots to complete his ensemble. He was a magic cowboy conjuring up music to please the audience.
He proudly pointed out his beautiful fiancé, Hannah. “Last time I was here she was my girlfriend, now she is my fiancé and next time she will be my wife”…you could see the joy in his face as he spoke of her, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. It sure warms me to see a man expose his heart so freely. Frankie is a great man, a great guitar picker and songwriter.
He played a playful, fun song “Summertime in New Orleans”. He currently resides in New Orleans. Then he sang one I was familiar with called “Gerry Street”…it says
”I hang my hat but not my head down on Gerry Street”…
He played this sad song about unrequited love “Loving you is like throwing rocks at the moon”…reminds me of one of my son’s songs with a similar idea…”Trying to love her is like trying to catch smoke.”….Pretty much both ideas are speaking about a love that will not grow and is without hope. Those kind of songs tug at my heart.
That is what a well written song does…it makes you FEEL the lyrics.
Frankie Boots went on to tell his stories and play his own brand of music as he entertained us all evening. He told of a problem with his passport not being ready and his having to change his travel plans…ending up in Reno was not how he thought this trip would go. The good thing is he got a nice song from the problem. That is what good songwriters do…they don’t brood over life’s disappointments they document them in a song.
Frankie played “Leave the light on”, Can’t Be There”, “Hometown Stranger”, and many more.
Hometown Stranger tells the story of how things can change when you leave home and return years later. In his song it tells of finding your brother with your old lover when you return home. The song explains it feels like you are a stranger in your own hometown when nothing seems to be the way it was when you left.
He surprised me with this statement, “When I lived on a psychedelic Marijuana farm in California, I wrote this song”…Pagan Ranch, it is the title song on his latest CD.
So Frankie Boots is what I would define as a country music artist/singer/songwriter. But I noticed in my research that he list his genre as FOLK. Rachel and I discussed it and she felt it fell under the umbrella of AMERICANA. Sometimes the line that divides the genres is so thin or blurred, you just can’t box ‘em in to one style.
To me, the genre that defines Frankie Boots is “Down-Home music by a country boy”…is that a genre? Well it should be.
Regardless of the box he is placed in, he is a personable, nice guy. He has wonderful taste in women, proven by his choice of Hannah. He is a talented guitarist and singer/songwriter.
Thank you once again Jim Pennington for bringing in the talent to Mobile
Thank you Frankie Boots for performing for us and bringing your beautiful fiancé
Thank you to the audience who listened with intention and applauded with purpose