A lot of the long lost singer-songwriters that have been dug up and embraced in recent years have depressing life stories but I don’t think any are as dark and dismal as that of Jackson C. Frank.
<br><br> You may know recognize his classic Blues Runs the Game as a song covered by Nick Drake on the Tamworth-In-Arden bootleg. Or you may remember his incredibly gorgeous ballad Milk and Honey from bad-boy Vincent Gallo’s wonderful Brown Bunny – legendary for its Chloe Sevigny cocksucking scene. <br><br> Frank sounds like a darker, less political Phil Ochs with a marvelous fingerpicking style on the acoustic guitar. He found his sound traveling to coffeehouses as a young man with Steppenwolf’s John Kay, and later moved to England where he lived with Paul Simon. <br><br> His life was fraught with disaster and bad luck, from an explosion that left him as its only survivor, to never finding success despite his enormous talent, a failed marriage, his son dying of cystic fibrosis, a nervous breakdown followed by mental illness and being homeless in New York City, a parathyroid malfunction that caused weight gain, and ending up blind in one eye as a result of being the victim of a stray bullet. <br><br> And if that wasn’t enough, just as his life was winding down – he died in 1999 at the age of 55, he was beginning to finally be rediscovered by a new generation of fans of his mournful and world-weary sounds. <br><br> This is his first album and features the above-mentioned Blues Run The Game and Milk Honey, as well as the standouts Don’t Look Back, Kimbie and My Name Is Carnival. <br><br> Fans of Ochs, Nick Drake, and others like them will find this to be a classic album.