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Franklin & Baytop: Searching for Frank
Michael Baytop and Rick Franklin play acoustic blues guitar, harmonica - and bones.
Brand new CD release features birth of the blues acoustic guitar, harmonica - and bones.

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Product Code: 116-1CD

Description Technical Specs The Inside Story...
Franklin & Baytop: Searching for Frank
A tribute to Memphis blues great Frank Stokes
New CD release with Mike Baytop and Rick Franklin on acoustic guitar...plus harmonica - and bones

Traditional Blues from the 1920s and 1930s with Six Tracks of Bones
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.

Inspired by Archie Edwards and Richard "Mr. Bones" Thomas
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. But it was later in life that Michael, inspired by Archie Edwards, learned guitar and harmonica. He also learned to play the bones from Richard "Mr. Bones" Thomas, one of Archie's barbershop buddies.

Since Mr. Bones passed away, Baytop has been carrying on this relatively obscure tradition that links back 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.

Rick Franklin honed his skills in the same regional musical matrix. Following a brief flirtation with electric blues, he turned to classical lessons where a fellow student turned him on to Blind Blake and Reverend Gary Davis. As Rick put it, "From there it's just been finger-picking blues." Rick has performed in educational programs with Archie Edwards, and today he plays with various artists, working diverse venues including farmers markets, where he keeps the street musician tradition going.

Six Tracks of Classic Street Bluesy Bones
This rare CD features six tracks of bone playing on tunes wrought from the pop, minstrel, ragtime, and medicine show influences that permeated Memphis street musicians of the 1920s and 1930s. So just sit back and listen, or grab your favorite set of bones and jam with Mike Baytop and Rick Franklin - and play along with the birth of the blues.

Excellent Play-Along CD

Shooting Star Granadillo Bones demo video. Musical segment features Champagne Charlie from Searching for Frank.

Look what's on the CD:

1. Champagne Charlie 3:03
2. Changed the Locks* 2:32
3. Crazy About You* 2:38
4. Nobody's Business 2:02
5. Some Cold Rainy Day 4:29
6. You Shall Be Free 2:40
7. I Got Mine* 4:34
8. Sweet To Mama 3:02
9. One Way Gal* 4:13
10. Song for Frank 3:01
11. Beans* 2:48
12. Jail House Blues 3:17
13. Stop and Listen Blues* 4:28
14. Holy Spirit 3:31

*Michael Baytop on bones


Michael Baytop,
guitar, slide guitar, vocals, bones, harmonica
Rick Franklin, guitar, vocals

Who is Frank Stokes?
Click "The Inside Story..." tab above for more info about Frank Stokes.

  • Media Type: Audio CD. Listen to audio disc on CD player or your computer.
  • Complete information about the recording project: Read all about Frank Stokes and Franklin & Baytop.
  • Detailed facts about each tune: See who is playing what instruments.
  • Background notes about each tune: Get an insider's look at the birth of the blues.
  • Complete Liner Notes: Makes it easy to follow along.
  • Fourteen Play-along Tunes: Fun to play along with Mike on bones.
  • Plastic Jewel Case: Protects your CD.

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