Press release, "I Remember Me; Live Recordings 1972-1987":
John Zevalking, freelance writer
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 11/01
Not long ago, I reunited with my first love for a cup of coffee in Cosa Mesa, California. We had not seen each other in 20 years. It was a delightful experience. Listening to Frank Salamone's newly released CD, "I Remember Me," was not that sweet, but it was close. Like my old flame, I found Salamone's music as wondrous and inspiring as I had remembered it (and better preserved than my once beloved or myself).
The CD is subtitled "Live Recordings: 1972 - 1987," and it tracks Salamone's local performing career with comprehension and clarity. If you have lived long enough and were privileged enough to hear Frank live at the Canterbury House, the Yacht Club, or any of the many venues in which he played, you will be satisfied to discover the precision and intensity of those performances captured on this disc. If you are not familiar with Salamone's music, think of Keb' Mo', Eric Clapton unplugged or the bluesier cuts from the "O, Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack.
Salamone is one of those guitar players who sound like two or three at once. He simultaneously lays down rock-solid bass lines, lush harmonic voicings and razor-edged fills. His rich, urbane voice completes a circle of belief that this man is absolutely engaged in his music and is engaging the listener in sound and soul.
The twenty tracks range from the noire (Salamone's haunting translation of Mose Allison's already haunting "If You Live") to the savoir faire (Frank's original "Big Mistake, Small Café"). Salamone appropriates acoustic blues classics without pretension ("Bye, Bye, Baby Blues," "Candyman") and offers originals with classic potential ("Wayward Kid," "SaraLinda"). Several instrumentals feature Frank's musicianship and his distinctive musical blend: sweet and melancholy, pensive and penetrating.
Frank is joined live on a few tracks by longtime friend Martin Grosswendt and longtime musical partner Jimmie Stagger. Longtime Salamone fans will be thrilled by this release. New fans will certainly follow. Frank's performance career was cut short due to illness in 1987. We will not see him play live again. Thankfully we can still hear him in this great CD. Rumor has it that there are many more tracks in the archive. Hopefully, this is the first offering from that vault of musical riches.