Solo Disc Due From Pixies Frontman Frank Black
Frank Black will release his first solo album in nine years on July 19 via Back Porch/EMI Records. Titled Honeycomb, the record finds the Pixies lead-singer/guitarist recording in Nashville with such esteemed musicians as Americana songwriter and guitarist Buddy Miller, '70s soul drummer Chester Thompson and famed Memphis organist Spooner Oldham.
Produced by Jon Tiven (Wilson Pickett, B.B. King, Robert Plant), Honeycomb was laid down in four days last April at well-regarded Southern producer/songwriter Dan Penn's Better Songs and Gardens studio, just shortly before the legendary Pixies reunited to massive critical acclaim.
The follow-up to 1996's The Cult of Ray, the 14-track album also boasts contributions from Muscle Shoals session bassist David Hood (who also played in a later version of Traffic), guitarists Steve Cooper (of Booker T and the MGs) and Reggie Young (who played on hit records by Elvis, Wilson Pickett, Dusty Springfield and many others) and esteemed veteran classic-rock drummers Anton Fig, Billy Block and Akil Thompson, among others. The Honeycomb sessions mark the first time many of these revered Southern soul, gospel and rock 'n' roll musicians have played together.
Black, born Charles Thompson and known as Black Francis in the Pixies, wrote all but three of the songs on Honeycomb. The covers are "Dark End of the Street" by Penn and Chips Moman, "Song of the Shrimp" by Roy Bennett and Sid Tepper (from the Elvis Presley film "Girls, Girls Girls") and "Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day" by the late hippie country-rock singer/songwriter/bandleader Doug Sahm.
Original Black compositions include "I Burn Today," "My Life Is in Storage," "Atom in My Heart," "Another Velvet Nightmare" (co-written with rootsy singer/songwriter Reid Paley), "Go Find Your Saint" and "Violet."
Following the Pixies' 1993 breakup, Black kicked off a solo career with a self-titled debut the same year, an album he actually began working on before splitting from the Pixies. Black released Teenager of the Year and the Headache EP in 1994, following it with the more-rocking, less-Beatlesque-than-earlier-work The Cult of Ray in '96. He would then go on to form Frank Black and the Catholics, who released a handful of records in the late '90s and early '00s. Jenny Tatone [Thursday, March 31, 2005]