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Framus Five - Blues In Soul (1969)

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Framus Five - Blues In Soul (1969)

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01. I Got My Mojo Working (McKinley Morganfield) - 4:17
02. Why Am I Treated So Bad? (Roebuck Staples) - 5:06
03. Around And Around (Chuck Berry) - 2:43
04. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out (traditional, arr.Jimmy Cox) - 3:37
05. Blues In Soul (Michal Prokop) - 3:12
06. What'd I Say (Ray Charles) - 3:17
07. I Believe To My Soul (Ray Charles) - 3:20
08. Keep A Light In The Window (James Woody Alexander) - 3:01
09. If You Need Me (Wilson Picket, Sonny Sanders, Robert Batemann) - 3:18
10. Some Day Baby (Ray Charles) - 3:24
11. Hold On I'm Comin' (Isaac Hayes, David Porter) - 3:08
+
12. In The Midnight Hour (Bert Berns, Gerald Wexsler) - 2:10
13. Ton Of Joy (Otis Redding) - 2:48 
14. Mojo Mama (Bert Berns, Gerald Wexsler) - 2:52
15. Don't Set Me Free (Ray Charles) - 3:11
16. Respect (Otis Redding) - 2:21
17. Work Song (Nat Adderley) - 2:49
18. My Days Are Numbered (Al Kooper) - 3:05
19. Keep A Light In The Window (live) (James Woody Alexander) - 3:07
20. Georgia On My Mind (live) (Hoagy Carmichael) - 4:13

- Michal Prokop - lead vocals, lead guitar
- Ivan Trnka - organ, piano
- Ladislav Eliáš - bass, lead vocals (02)
- Petr Klárfeld - drums
- Jiří Burda - tenor saxophone, arranger
- Jindřich Dostál - trombone
- Ivan Umáčený – trumpet

 

Of the troika of my favorite Czech male rock singers, Michal Prokop is certainly my Mr. Soul (while the other two, Mr. Rock Jiří Schelinger and Mr. Blues Vladimír Mišík, will be featured on this blog very soon). Prokop, born 1946, co-founded the Framus Five in the early sixties. Initially they were devoted to the Mersey sound like the majority of other Czech beat groups but soon they added a horn section and switched to Memphis-oriented rhythm'n'blues. They performed at the famous 1st Czechoslovak Beat Festival 1967 in Prague where Prokop was (rightfully) declared the best singer of the event. They spent the following two years with successful touring all over the country and through Poland.

Hold On I'm Comin', a Hayes/Porter composition originally recorded by Sam & Dave for Stax, is the closing song from Framus Five's first album "Blues In Soul", recorded in the fall of 1968. Although you can hear applause at the beginning and at the end, this is only a pseudo-live "audience" which has been overdubbed to "glue" the album tracks together. Oh well, that gimmick used to be fashionable all around the world at that time. Nevertheless, the song steams like a locomotive engine on the loose, and, even in direct comparison to the certainly soulful S&D original, it is right about to explode. Hold on, baby, Michal Prokop sho 'nuff IS comin'!

Blues In Soul delivers exactly what its title promises. Originally released in 1969 as Framus Five + Michal Prokop, it contains ten R&B and soul covers like Got My Mojo Working, I Believe To My Soul, What'd I Say or Chuck Berry's funked up Around And Around - as well as Prokop's instrumental title track. This is your ultimate Czech R&B long play album because it is in fact, besides Flamingo's first LP (a.k.a. This Is Our Soul), the only one. Unfortunately, in 1971 when this stereo export reissue was finally released, the Framus Five were already history. Besides Prokop who also used to play the lead guitar, the original members were Ivan Trnka on keyboards, Ladislav Eliáš on bass, Petr Klárfeld on drums, Ivan Umáčený on trumpet and saxophonist Jiří Burda who also wrote the arrangements. --- blog.loukash.com

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