FAME Review: Frank Bang & The Secret Stash - Double Dare
Frank Bang & The Secret Stash - Double Dare

Double Dare

Frank Bang & The Secret Stash

Blue Hoss Music - 1001

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

If there were such a thing as country blues grunge, this would be it. Frank 'Bang' Blinkal himself refers to Double Dare as 'driving music to get you from Point A to Point B', and that's its secondary trait, y'all, indeed a mess o' tunes to car-bang to (er, as an alternative to head-banging, not, you know, getting naked and…) as ya head for the edge of town or even just your lover's crash pad. Riling itself up in a slur of greasy slide halfway between Dave Hole, Mick Abrahams, and Elyse Steinman (Raging Slab), the first cut, Double Dare, pours gasoline on churning pistons in a cloud of charged particles, then pauses mid-way to catch its breath, and slams back into the tempest, providing your Minimum Daily Requirement of pulse-pounding adrenalin.

The real calling card here, though, is Bang's attitude, and you get the drift of things when the cut's lyrics commence with "Woke up this morning and cut off all my hair", taking Neil Young in an opposite direction, ending up in the truism that "Life is just a double dare". The entire CD is gritty and positivist in a realpolitik, existentialist, aw-fuck-it-just-do-it fashion smothered in BBQ sauce and Jack Daniels. Where in hell, one asks oneself, did he pick that up? Well, circling the globe five times while playing in Buddy Guy's band and opening for no-names like—snort!, chuckle!, guffaw!—Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, the Rolling Stones, B.B King, and such will do that for ya.

So now he's a worldly road vet who nonetheless, wherever he went, had his Chicago feet planted firmly in Texas (the influences of Z.Z. Top, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray, and others can be discerned throughout the CD), striding forward with his own mutant form of country folk music hiding just beneath the power chords and decibels. Makes sense: the Chicago blues school vacationed in Tejas quite a few times over decades, so the all the many love matches between the two are natural. Wonder Woman perhaps best illustrates that fusion and potpourri, and just the title to My Country Way informs the listener as to what's really what once the sweat and funk burn away.

Track List:

  • Double Dare (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • Burnin' Up in the Wind (Plump / Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • Lose Control (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • God Fearin' Man (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • Wonder Woman (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • This Is What It's All About (Johnston / Johnston)
  • All's Well (F. Blinkal / Fitzgerald)
  • My Own Country Way (Johnston / Johnston)
  • 18 Wheels of Hell (Johnston / Johnston)
  • All I Need (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)
  • Mattie's Girl (Blinkal / Blinkal / Blinkal)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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