Frank D Howe - Newsround featured artist
Frank D Howe Norfolk  - Country Music singer songwriter
It’s not very often that I pop my head above the parapet to voice my opinions but I am so impressed by this issue’s cover artist FRANK D HOWE, that I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm for what this talented Norfolk man has achieved.
 
Born in 1945 and raised the son of a teams-man/general farmhand at Brooke in rural Norfolk, Frank has been a life-long country music devotee. As a child, he loved it when his family regularly tuned in to ‘The Smokey Mountain Music Show’ etc., on the American Forces Network. 
 
Compared to anything likely to be heard on the BBC Light or Home Service back then, the songs always seemed to Frank to contain real stories he could relate to rural life and ordinary people, like his own family.
 
That was the start of a lifetime’s love for the music. His taste has never strayed far from it ever since. Until now Frank has been best known for his editorial contributions
to local press and various country music magazines. Indeed, it was in his capacity as a reporter that I first met him some twenty years ago at Pontins, Pakefield, and for many years that followed, we would enjoy catching up at the twice yearly festival. Little did I know back then, that Frank was himself an outstanding country music singer and more-over a hugely talented writer of the most brilliant
country songs! 
 
A hard working man all his life Frank kept a lid on his talents until he retired, then at the age of 67 said to himself
“Old man, get off your butt and do what you always really wanted to do!”
 
The result is his debut CD of eleven self penned, self performed songs entitled 
Some Thoughts I Have Had – Vol. 1. Frank told The Newsround 
“I have finally ‘come out of the closet’ and declared myself a ‘songwriter/ recording artist’ in my own right. It was
time to stop running away from the challenge of letting some of my songs be heard."Personally, I would be more inclined to say that he’s exploded out of the closet and hit the ground running!!!
 
This CD is faultless in it’s production with world class Nashville musicians providing most of the instrumentation, backing vocals and harmonies, the final mix being done by DH Studios, Hemel Hempstead, all of which demonstrates Frank’s versatility as a writer and vocalist but above all it marks Frank as being country to the core! Hats off to you Frank, this album is a triumph for British country! 
 
TRACK 1
Snugga-Luggin

A light hearted take on the subject of snuggling up to your loved one. Great up tempo dance number and packs a punch as the opening track.
 
TRACK 2
Drinkin' Lyin' Down
 
Multi award winner Henry Smith joins Frank for this humourous look at the benefits of not trying to stand or walk about whilst drinking heavily or under the influence of alcohol. Their voices blend well on this (beer drinking’ buddies) bar song.
 
TRACK 3
A Stone Named Mary
 
Dreams of pulling up roots and catching the wind, letting fate choose where one ends up by the toss of a  coin. A fab mid-tempo story song which I love and listen to over and over.
 
TRACK 4
Old Festival Memories
 
Reflecting on years of festival going and sitting up late drinking wine and watching videos taken at the early Strumpshaw’s, etc., there comes the realisation that the faces on screen are those of ‘old’ festival friends of many years – that look so young on that screen (including your own)! Then home comes the realisation of
just how many of those old friends are now long gone. Mixed emotions of half loving re-living these old memories 
and half dreading who maybe next to go as the old crowd thins out with the passage of time. 
 
TRACK 5
Angel Say You're Gonna Stay
 
Only a country boy would think of decoying an angel down and shooting her wings out (albeit he shoots them out with love and poetry). Pedal Steel Guitar fans will love the bridge in this song which contains the unusual mix of lovely Steel Guitar blended with beautiful and well restrained touches of mandolin from Basildon based supremo Hippie Joe.
 
TRACK 6
Honky Tonk Highway
 
Get stuck behind a tractor on a country lane and you’ll likely be stuck till it turns off. Yet though that was where his roots are, he’s found a way onto the ‘Neon Highway’. Great
contemporary song for the dancers.
 
TRACK 7
He's Got A Way With Women
 
It turns out your woman and your mate are more than just friends… mid tempo and light hearted.
 
TRACK 8
That's When It Rains
 
Just when you think things can’t get any worse, or indeed any better – that’s when it rains, man it pours! 
 
TRACK 9
A Woman Like That
 
Frank says: “I’m more likely to write about life than I am about love. But the great master Harlan Howard said “love is such a huge part of everyone’s life, that you’d almost be a fool to write about anything else”. So, I thought I should try it and make sure love gets a look in on a couple of tracks – this one and ‘Snugga Luggin’ being the result. In this day and age texts and emails can just arrive and invade your private thoughts and emotional space out of
the blue and I’ll bet they’re the starting point of many a romance. I’m not so old that I can’t see the possibility of
that whole scenario”! It’s an up tempo song, great for the dancers.
TRACK 10
Diversions
 
A country album just wouldn’t be complete without a gospel number. Frank says “this song was one of those that just gave itself to me in my sleep one night. I woke up in the early hours with it going round in my head and it seemed so strong that I got up and wrote it down”. New Dawn (way back when New Dawn was just Julie and Linda) did an earlier version of this song on their first tape “Breaking It” way back when… but I’ve made a couple of changes to it this time around and punched it out a bit more tempo wise too.
 
TRACK 11
Sippin' Cold Tea
 
I just adore this song, all 6 minutes and 37 seconds of it! It takes you from the time just after the war when farmers would work the land from sun up to sun down with their heavy horses, nothing more than bread and cheese to eat and cold tea to lay the dust down, right up to present day
with the ‘spy in the cab’ and how such progress has cost us many freedoms along the way. This song is a masterpiece and I would buy this album just to have this one track. Whether you are a dancer or a listener, like your music old style or new style, as long as you like it ‘Country’ there’s something for everyone on this album.
 
So thank you Frank, not just for the music but for the inspiration and proof that if you want to do something bad
enough, it’s never too late!
Editor.
 
SOME THOUGHTS I HAVE HAD Vol 1
by Frank D Howe

Available to download for just £7.00 (or order a signed hard copy for the sum of £8.50 – including P&P within the UK. Other countries £9.50 payable by PayPal) from Frank’s
own website www.frankdhowe. co.uk Also available through iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby.com, Rhapsody, Spotify and more!
 
You can also email Frank at

CrXSS COUNTRY REVIEW – Frank D (Old Lucky) Howe.  Some Thoughts I Have Had – Vol 1

Frank D Howe is a singer / songwriter who has penned all the tracks on this album. 

This is nicely presented and scores with me on performance and songwriting ability. Frrank has a good country voice and combines this with lively lyrics that have you tapping your feet. I enjoyed the songs Old Festival Memories, He's Got A Way With Women and Angel Say You're Gonna Stay but my overall favourite was the duet with Henry Smith called Drinkin' Lyin' Down.

 

 

Album Reviews… by Daniel Shutt, COUNTRY BULLETIN 22nd Editions
Frank D. Howe "Some Thoughts I Have Had" Vol. 1

FrajkljlkjjkkkkjkljlkjlkjkljFrafgjkhdskjh

Frank Howe is perhaps best known to some readers for his work as a Country Music journalist in the Anglia region. Now aged 67, Frank has moved in a different direction to produce this fantastic new eleven track, self-penned collection of songs. This new album produced by Frank is filled with originality and innovation.  The listener can’t help but realise this is an album inspired not by commercial gain but by the true love of country music. The tracks combine humour, sentimentality and life-experience to tell truly unique stories. 
The album kicks off with 'Snugga-Luggin', one of two tracks co-written by Kerry Lambert. The up-tempo Nashville style is essentially classic country, but with a modern twist, and sets the pace for the rest of the album to follow.
 The next song 'Drinkin' Lyin' Down' features award winning British Country Music artist Henry Smith, and takes a humorous approach to drinking, by which Frank describes it "a poor mans Five O'Clock Somewhere, perhaps".
'Old Festival Memories' will no doubt prove popular with many Country Music fans, who have attended music festivals down through the years. This is a sentimental number using music festivals (of any genre) to explore the passage of time.The album benefits from first class production, put together on both sides of the Atlantic in England and Nashville. This is particularly evident on 'Angel Say You're Gonna Stay' which features sensational harmonies between the pedal steel guitar and the mandolin. 
The final track on the album, 'Sippin' Cold Tea' is the longest track on the album at 6:37 minutes, and seems to be the most personal to Frank, telling his own story of growing up in post-World War II Norfolk. The style here has shades of Johnny Cash.  All in all, this is a great first production from Frank D. Howe, and deserves every success. It is available to buy on CDBaby.com in physical copy or as a digital download.
.