Les Fradkin | 12

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Pop: Jangle Pop Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Les Fradkin

New Jangle Pop and folk rock from "The Jangleholic." Features covers of Dylan, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Ian & Sylvia and Love. Plus great originals including "Lay Down Your Arms."
Genre: Pop: Jangle Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Know You Rider
3:08 $0.99
2. The Ballad Of Belle Starr
4:29 $0.99
3. Eight Miles High
2:44 $0.99
4. Alone Again Or
3:23 $0.99
5. Down On My Luck
5:33 $0.99
6. Four Strong Winds
3:57 $0.99
7. Mr. Tambourine Man
2:36 $0.99
8. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
5:43 $0.99
9. Lay Down Your Arms
4:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Alone Again Or"
"The Ballad Of Belle Starr"

Les Fradkin, a Master of the 12-String Guitar presents his 12th solo CD and takes the Rickenbacker 12 string and his voice on new journeys-Jangle Pop meets folk-rock with his covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man " and "Four Strong Winds", folk rock meets Tom Petty stylings on "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall", Psychedelic folk rock with his electric versions of "I Know You Rider" and "The Ballad Of Belle Starr", a classy cover of Love's "Alone Again Or" and several originals including the lyrically rich "Down On My Luck" and his new definitive anti war rallying cry "Lay Down Your Arms" which is now a smash hit at Apple iTunes.

Especially noteworthy is his new cover of "Alone Again Or", the classic rock song from the Love "Forever Changes" LP. It's already a big seller at Apple iTunes.

Guest musicians on "12" include:
Warren Odze-Drums (Judy Collins)
Paul Harris- Keyboards (Manassas, Souther Hillman Furay, John Sebastian,
Al Kooper, Roger McGuinn)
Buddy Cage- Pedal Steel Guitar (New Riders, Great Speckled Bird, Bob Dylan)
Dave Santos- Bass (Crosby Stills & Nash, Billy Joel)
John Ford- Bass, Vocals (Strawbs, Hudson & Ford)
Greg Witchel-Harmonica (One Too Many)

These great musicians appear on "I Know You Rider", "The Ballad Of Belle Starr", "Down On My Luck" , "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" and "Lay Down Your Arms." John Ford & Buddy Cage appear on "Lay Down Your Arms."

Track by Track Summary:
1. "I Know You Rider" (Trad. Arr. by Les Fradkin & Greg Witchel): Monstrous Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead stylings meets The Byrds with a Jangle Pop approach. Les & Greg's arrangement of this old blues chestnut also features some wicked LF lead guitar and bass playing. Greg sez- "The devil's music has a busy bottom." Guest Musicians are Warren Odze on Drums, Greg Witchel on Harmonica and Paul Harris on Electric Organ.

2. "The Ballad Of Belle Starr" (Les Fradkin, E.Rose) Another Summer of Love treatment on this Dylanesque style tale of the old West. Backwards Beatles guitars meets Jefferson Airplane at Pooh Corners. Guest Musicians are Warren Odze on Drums, Dave Santos on bass and Paul Harris on Electric Piano.

3. "Eight Miles High" (G. Clark, R. McGuinn, D.Crosby)- As featured on the Timeless Flyte compilation Byrds tribute- "The Byrds Dylan Connection", and available here for CD purchase, Les rocks out in large Psych folk-rock fashion. Blistering impossibly fast Rickenbacker 12 sdtring solos.

4. "Alone Again Or" (B. Maclean)- This classic from Love's "Forever Changes" gets dusted off for a modern Jangleholic 12 string treatment.Les also checks in with some flashy guitar synthesizer brass and string lines.

5. "Down On My Luck" (Les Fradkin)- Les' extended version original with richly evocative lyrics. Tells the story of every guy who spilled milk in a relationship and tried to put it back in the bottle. Guest Musicians are Warren Odze on Drums, Dave Santos on bass and Paul Harris on Electric Piano.

6. "Four Strong Winds" (Ian Tyson)- The classic Ian & Sylvia tune done as a Jangle Pop commercial arrangement. A bit like The Byrds during their Turn!Turn!Turn! period. Georgous jangly Rickenbacker 12 string riffs supported by a light string orchestra and a pulsing folk rock band backing.

7. "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) As featured in the Timeless Flyte Byrds Dylan Connection Collection. Eric Sorensen coments: "Les Fradkin. RRO Entertainment label guru and Boomer Musician Extraordinaire Les Fradkin nails this version of the song that launched the Byrds’ into rock stardom. His version is so dead-on that it’s almost as if Les snuck into the Columbia studios in 1965 and he listened while the original Byrds toiled through the numerous studio takes of this song. Les’ version sets a very high standard for whoever records this song next! After hearing this song, pop/rock fans should stop referring to Les as the guy who played George Harrison in “Beatlemania!” Les has developed his own “signature” Rickenbacker 12-string sound, and he has few peers when it comes to recording Boomer music."

8. "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" (Bob Dylan) Les takes a "Jangleholic" meets Tom Petty approach to this old Dylan chestnut. Guest Musicians are Warren Odze on Drums, Dave Santos on Bass, Greg Witchel on Harmonica and Paul Harris on Electric Organ.

9. "Lay Down Your Arms" (Les Fradkin, E.Rose) Destined to become an anti-war classic. Huge jangle and chiming 12-string guitars. Features Les on Harmonica as well. Guest Musicians are Warren Odze on Drums , John Ford on Bass and Background Harmonies and Buddy Cage on Pedal Steel Guitar.

A bit of BIO:

Les Fradkin is one of the guitar legends of the 1970's. As well as being a veteran member of The Original Cast of Beatlemania, he has found success as a recording artist, composer and producer with MGM Sunflower, ESP-Disk', Bell, Arista, RCA, and Laurie Records. Les has written the well known French hit "La Chansons Des Souvenirs" ("Song Of A Thousand Voices") for the famous Mireille Mathieu. He has played 12 and 6-string Guitar, Bass, Mellotron, and Piano on dozens of Top 40 hit records throughout the early 1970's , scoring many US and UK chart placings throughout his career.

Les Fradkin was also an original member / singer / guitarist for the pop group California on Laurie Records in the US and RCA Records in the UK for it's entire existence from 1973 through 1985. California had several chart records including the 1981 release "Summer Fun Medley"-a medley of Beach Boys hits, "Jeans On", "He's Almost You" (charting in the United Kingdom) and an appearance on the Dick Clark American Bandstand television show.

In 1976, Les was selected over thousands of other auditioning guitarists to appear in the original cast of the smash hit Broadway musical "Beatlemania" playing lead guitar and the part of "George Harrison" in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Running for two and a half years from May 1977 thru October 1979, every show (including over 1200 in New York alone) was sold out and the musicians quickly became celebrities with magazine cover stories ("Newsweek","Time", "People", "Rolling Stone") and many major television show appearances. With his guitar-playing in the international spotlight from the show, Fradkin developed a cult following that has avidly followed his career and made him a celebrity among guitar fans.

He has enjoyed chart success on the net as well with his songs reaching mp3.com's 1 position 16 times! New Gandy Dancer Rock Magazine named Les' CD "A Day At The Beach" it's 2004 Album Of The Year. In addition, Les has performed with The Ventures as 2nd Lead Guitarist. Nokie Edwards of The Ventures has performed with Les on several occasions and is a featured guest on his "While My Guitar Only Plays" CD. In fact, Les has been acknowledged as a guitar virtuoso for over 30 years and he has been featured in issues of 20th Century Guitar Magazine, Pipeline and New Gandy Dancer Magazines.

Today, Les has released 15 solo CD's on his RRO Entertainment Indie label and has had over 300,000 downloads bringing him several substantial hits on Apple iTunes and other download sites across the Internet.



to write a review

Ian Kinman

Good covers of great songs.
As with his other CD's, this Fradkin disc is worth a listen.
Ian H Kinman

Eric Sorensen

Don't hesitate to snap up a copy!
Do you love jangly music? Do your ears perk up at the distinctive sound of a chiming Rickenbacker 12-string guitar? If so, don't hesitate to snap up a copy of Les Fradkin's twelfth solo disc - appropriately titled 12. As with past albums, Les is pictured on the cover with his Rickenbacker 360v64 (the model that was designed for George Harrison) 12-string guitar and Les showcases both his crisp pop-rock 12-string sound and his sonic production techniques on the nine tracks. Three of the tracks are original (two are co-writes), and the rest of the songs are a parade of tunes that Boomer music fans should be quite familiar with. Highlights include Les' versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Eight Miles High"- recorded for the download-only four volume Byrds tribute set, Timeless Flyte (produced by Fradkin and released on his RRO Entertainment label), and available here for the first time on CD. Les' rendition of Mr. Tambourine Man sounds like he was studying every instrumental nuance in the studio when the Fab Five recorded this track in 1965. Les captures the sound of the Byrds again on his brilliant folk-rock version of "Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson. Les gives his own stamp to the McGuinn-Clark-Crosby classic "Eight Miles High", the traditional "I Know You Rider", Arthur Lee and Love's "Alone Again Or" and Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna-Fall." I have said this before but it bears repeating: Roger McGuinn's 12-string guitar style helped to pioneer the folk-rock sound of the 60s, and Les Fradkin nimitable 12-string guitar style is a leading force in the contemporary pop-rock scene that is keeping that chiming sound alive and vibrant. Hence, 12 is an album that should appeal to pop fans young and old.