Frankie & Jimmy, also known as The Poor Man’s Blues Bros, are probably some of the coolest, most creative musicians to come out of Hamilton, Ontario. The duo sound like King Khan & BBQ Show met Muddy Waters in a dark dingy bar filled with smoke and they all decided to play whatever they were feeling at that exact moment in time.
Their music has a serious sense of humour, to which there is a litany of examples littered throughout their hilariously busy tour posters. As well, their social media outlets describe themselves as “Too Punk For Blues/ Too Blues For Punk,” “sliding delta, country blues and gospel” which “pairs well with whiskey and jazz cigarettes,” and lists their playing style as a process wherein “Frankie Flowers (slide guitar, porchboard bass and tambourine) runs on the spot while Jimmy (harmonica and hollering) has adult tantrums.” For further proof, and another laugh, check out their promo video for Blues On The Brain where they compare what they think they sound like, what their parents think they sound like, and roughly 5 seconds of what they actually sound like at the very end.
Released in June, Blues On The Brain sports short, quick, and raw tracks that (literally) scream nonchalant creativity. Much of the vocals, which do favourably sound like an adult having a tantrum, are howled rather than sung and pair perfectly with Jimmy’s harmonica– especially in the chorus of tracks like “Spread The News Around.”
Most of the album is up-tempo, jaunty, and center around the most perfect pairing of the slide, the harmonica, tambourine, a steady drumbeat and some equally appropriate howling, and while they do not stray far from this sound, that is no problem when it is exactly what you want and need to hear.
Frankie & Jimmy have yet again proved that they can provide blues lovers with something fresh, and ridiculously enjoyable. Even in tracks like “Babe It Ain’t No Lie,” which is something of a wonderfully strange blues ballad, featuring Jimmy’s whistling and harmonica with both lead and backup hollering, Blues On The Brain is the perfect mix of attitude, creativity, and blues.
Written by Jordan Hodgins
*edited by Mike Milito