The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“Once every so often a performer comes along who can capture the hearts and minds of an audience. Such a performer is A. Frank Willis.
Your fantastic versatility coupled with your authentic personality makes you one of the top performers, not only in Newfoundland, but in the whole of Canada. There has never been an entertainer like A. Frank Willis!
For club owners and audiences alike, A. Frank Willis is a guaranteed must.
ANGUS CAREY, President
CAREY ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LIMITED
20A Lincoln Road
Grand Falls, Newfoundland”
So, this is pure 100% Canadian Grade A country music. A. Frank Willis, I’m going to refer to him as “Willis” in this review, as referring to him as “A.” – anyways! Onwards we go with the review!
So, the LP opens with the track “No Reason or Rhyme” it’s a pretty decent country track, it’s a good and strong opening song (it must’ve been a Hit Single or something too, since the cover states it features the track) – The next track is the song “Tennessee Woman”, I personally find it a stronger track, and a favorite of mine. It’s a catchy track with a nice chorus. The following track “She Broke My Heart” just scares the heck out of me with the line “She broke my heart, so I broke her jaw”… SOOOO. I’m just not even gonna continue with that track. Then comes a more softer, lovelier track, “Live in the Country” – which being a country boy myself, hits home pretty hard. Farm life, you know? Even though, I kind of lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere with no farm stuff… After comes another catchy track called “Willie Boy”, it’s about a Native boy who steals a “white man’s girl to make her feel like a woman”… and Willis makes sure to let us know that “Willie Boy” makes love like a “white man”… to say the least, it’s odd… but well done. It’s enjoyable, especially the chorus. Willis seems to be an amazing chorus artist. Then comes a cover of the Who’s “Squeeze Box” – which for the longest time I thought was about breasts… turns out, it’s about an accordion. It’s well covered, but the Who does it best.
So, now we’re on the B-Side. The opening track, “Love Left Town” is a pretty slow, basic classic country song. Heartache. Sad. Mopey. But, Willis delivers once more! This man sure can sing. “Raymond’s Place” basically annoys me, it’s a song about drinking in a bar owned by a guy named Raymond. Therefore, I don’t wanna drink there – reminds me of my father’s father. A drunk named Raymond. Bleh. NEXT SONG PLEASE. “Bright Silvery Light” holy gosh. His Newfoundland accent! That thing is almost Irish! You’d think he was, until you research Willis, he’s from Newfoundland. It’s a good song though, just obnoxious. It’s followed by another slow, basic country song again. “While the Feelings Good” – which happens to be a pretty decent track! Which sort of makes up for the 2 terrible ones before it. The album is then closed with the song “One of the Great Love Affairs” which just happens to be a nice track, like the one before. So, it makes up for the two weaker tracks on this side.
Anyways, A. Frank Willis passed away back in 2011 (from what I gather) in Edmonton, AB of a brain tumor.
A1 – No Reason or Rhyme
A2 – Tennessee Woman
A3 – She Broke My Heart
A4 – Live in the Country
A5 – Willie Boy
A6 – Squeeze Box
B1 – Love Left Town
B2 – Raymond’s Place
B3 – Bright Silvery Light
B4 – While the Feelings Good
B5 – One of the Great Love Affairs
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Ronny Light & Pete Wade – Lead Guitar
Jerry Kroon & Hayward Bishop – Drums
James Capps – Guitar
Steve Chapman – Rhythm Guitar
R.B. Kramer & Henry Stezlecky – Bass
A. Frank Willis – Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Harmony and Accordian
Terry McMillan & Charlie McCoy – Harmonica
Sonny Garrish, Lloyd Green & Larry Sasser – Steel Guitar
Shane Keister & Hargus “PIG” Robbins – Piano
Tom Brannon, Jackie Cusic, Donna Sheidon, Karen Tamlow & Lea Jane Berinati – Background Singers
Lisa Silver, Paul Tobias & John Kelingos – Violin
Rosecca Sebling & Knistin Wilkinson – Viola
Byron Bach – Cello
Earl Spielman – String Arranger & Conductor
Album design by A. Frank Willis, Bob Crocker & Rosalind Crocker-Harras
Photography by Bob Crocker, St. John’s, Nfld.
Recorded at Young’un Sound Studio
Engineers – Stan Dacus, Ronny Light, Les Ladd & Neil Bishop
Overdubbing – Doc’s Place & Crazy Mama’s
Remixed at Woodland Sound Studios by Les Ladd
Mastered at JAMF, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Accordian recorded at Clode Sound Productions, Stephenville, Nfld.
Special Thanks: Laurin Willis & Robert E. Lee
Rolls Royce furnished by Chris Morgan
Program Director of VOCM
Other Albums I Own by A. Frank Willis: