Patuxent CD-156 Franklin & Baytop - Searching for Frank
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Blues artists Michael Baytop and Rick Franklin are a Washington, D.C. based duo who share an appreciation for Memphis legends Frank Stokes and Dan Sane and the acoustic guitar duet tradition. This CD was conceived as a tribute to Stokes and Sane, and as a sample of the types of guitar based music they and other street singers would have played in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. It also showcases Baytop and Franklin’s own musical voices and the particular circumstances in which they developed their blues perspectives. Both Baytop and Franklin were born in the Washington, D.C. area and were initially exposed to rhythm and blues in their homes as children. Baytop’s father played harmonica and tried to interest his son in that instrument to no avail. Later in life, however, inspired by Archie Edwards, Michael learned both guitar and harmonica. He also learned to play the bones from one of Edwards’ barbershop buddies, a percussionist known as “Mr. Bones.” Since Mr. Bones passed away, Baytop has been carrying on this relatively obscure tradition with links to the minstrel show era and African percussion tradition. He also carried on other lessons learned in Archie Edwards’ barbershop through his leadership in the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation which has kept the barbershop as a memorial to Edwards and the musicians of his generation while providing a place for younger musicians to gather and play in a community of like-minded blues performers.