One man, two guitars, one ukulele and an amazing road trip around the deep south of America. Adam Franklin sounds like an authentic blues musician from the 30s and is one of the UKs finest solo blues men. He is an exceptionally accomplished musician who can attack his guitar with great vengeance making it growl like a hound from hell, but can also caress it making it sing sweetly. Adam plays an array of complex and unique rhythms which he applies to both guitar and ukulele. Watching his right hand attack the strings is mesmerizing. Adam also has a formidable voice which is hugely versatile and he uses it in many different ways. He substitutes trumpets and trombones for his voice, he will sing in harmony with his guitar, he shouts, sings and hollers, It was an amazing display of vocal talent. To complete the package Adam has a relaxed charm, he talk comfortable with the audience between each song. He will introduce songs, talks about his life, and even give the audience a multiple choice of what song should be his next.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO EARLY BLUES MUSIC?
I got into the old blues musicians, after listening to newer musicians doing older styles. People like John Hammond, Terry Garland & Catfish Keith.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A SOLO ARTIST?
No I used to be in a band but in 2005 I went to see John Hammond in concert. He walked on stage with a National guitar, sat down and just smashed the shit out of it for an hour. It really was a road to damascus moment for me. After that gig I had two choices; the first to give up being in a band as it was never going to work for me. The second, save some money buy myself a National guitar and go out on my own. Luckily while I was saving I got kick out of the band so I went out on my own and have been a solo performer ever since.
DO YOU FIND IT EASY TO WRITE YOUR OWN SONGS?
I don't find it easy at all. I don't mean this in an artistic way but a song will just come to me. I can't sit down and deliberately write a song, lyrics I especially find Difficult. But some one told me the age old adage 'write about what you know' and that has really worked. I have a song called '112 Guildford St' which is about a record shop I used to go in.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY A UKULELE?
I had been looking for something a bit different because everyone plays a guitar. So I tried a twelve string guitar but didn't get on with that because it was still just a guitar. I then tried a Mandolin and nearly went down that route, until my father bought my daughter a ukulele for her birthday. I started to mess around with it and thought "this is great" it was fantastic for the hot jazz music I like to play.
HOW DO YOU GET SUCH A GREAT SOUND WITH ONLY ONE MICROPHONE?
I am a bit of a microphone nut, I always used to use a 'Shure SM57' on the guitar and a 'SM58' on the vocal but it was too restrictive. Although I sit down, I like to move around a bit. I found I was always hitting the microphone with the guitar. So some friends of mine introduced me to the 'Rode NT1' microphone. It means I only need use one mic for both guitar and voice and I love it. It also makes sound check a lot easier.