Frank Hannon's Gypsy Highway: Headed for Grammy's?

A Review By Steven Masone Frank Hannon of TESLA fame breaks out solo with GYPSY HIGHWAY, a collection of acoustic songs written and pe...

A Review
By Steven Masone

Frank Hannon of TESLA fame breaks out solo with GYPSY HIGHWAY, a collection of acoustic songs written and performed by Frank in studio on every instrument.

Country, Folk, with Southern Delta overtones clearly coming through mandolin, banjo and echos' of Jethro Tull on flute. Drums, guitar, slide guitar & fretless bass create his own unique sound far from his hard rock platform.

As I have written before, I was there at the genesis of TESLA working with Steve Claussman who managed them as "city kid." I was working with Steve Claussman stage producing and packaging another band we cut an album with when we hooked up with Frank and City Kid.

The moment I first heard Frank play the guitar I knew he had that "gift" that would take him to the top. I probably had worked with every top lead guitarist in Sacramento and beyond (Co-produced concert with Al DiMeola and Stanley Clark & Chic Corea circa 1976) so I am not surprised Frank can cross over to any genre and form he wants. He was that good back when he was 16.

I can't say enough about the preview cuts from GYPSY HIGHWAY. "SWEET SOUTHERN SOUND" is one of my favorites! But they are all great. I could go on and on about where this music takes me, on the road again, down by the bayou southern sounds with hot licks and yes, masterful guitar work and impressive stylings on all of the instruments he uses on GYPSY HIGHWAY.

Influences of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Lynard Skynard and even early Steve Miller and The Beatles are evident throughout Frank's 'from the heart' great solo album.

I really enjoyed his vocals even though I did not have a quality system to hear his depth and timber. I also sensed while his passion was there, I think being in the studio solo caused some detachment of his ability to emote on some songs where in a live performance that synergetic connection with band and audience would remedy that. ( Some Stanislavsky couldn't hurt... lol ) His lyrics have that quality story-telling magic that paint visuals for the listener to take the journey the songs convey. I was pleasantly surprised by his rendition of The Star Spangled Banner recently sung at a Sacramento Kings game. Well done.

From his rich flamenco/spanish guitar work in 'THE HILLS OF CALIFORNIA' accenting south of the border flavor contribution, to the impressive mandolin, banjo and flute throughout. If you listen will sense clearly that his solo career is going to be special.

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