Frank Frost

Harpin' on It: The Complete Jewel Recordings

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WestSide's 13-track collection Harpin' on It: The Complete Jewel Recordings compiles all of the songs Frank Frost cut for the Louisiana label in the mid-'60s. While these sides aren't as down-and-dirty as his earlier material for Sun, they're still enjoyable, revved-up juke joint blues. If anything, he stretches the form a little bit here, getting a little funkier with the rhythms, a little rockier in the guitar, and all the production sounds a bit more modern, more like the mid-'60s (which, ironically enough, means it doesn't sound as timeless as his earlier recordings). Throughout it all, Frost's great harp is front and center, and his playing is always first-rate, even when the material is a little pedestrian. Fortunately, he hit the mark more often than not while on Jewel -- most notably on instrumentals, plus the great Slim Harpo takeoff, "My Back Scratcher" -- which is why this is worth hearing.

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