Carol Fran & Clarence Hollimon – It’s About Time
Together, They're Dynamite!
Musicians to the core, guitarist Clarence Hollimon and singer/pianist Carol Fran cut their teeth as session musicians in the demanding R&B/Blues small label arena.
Having first met in New Orleans, they met again in Houston where they married.
Here’s a unique chance to encounter the virtuosity that comes from years of experience and the uncanny rapport that speaks of a rare togetherness.
1. Texas Home - 2. Jumpin’ With Gristle - 3. Come On Little Mama - 4. Booty Butt - 5. Put The Blame On Me - 6. Herky Jerky - 7. I Can’t Go For That - 8. No One Will Listen - 9. Rock Bottom - 10. The Way I Used To Be - 11. You Got Troubles -
Clarence Hollimon (lead guitar. Vocal on 7) , Carol Fran (vocals on 1,5,8,10) , John Marx (rhythm guitar. Vocal on 3,9,11) , Rick Reed (acoustic bass) , Tom Mahon (piano) , Paul Fasulo (drums) , Jonny Viau (tenor sax) , Troy Jennings (baritone sax)
Clarence Hollimon played sessions for Duke/Peacock during that label’s heyday and backed Junior Parker and O. V. Wright. But before that. “… in high school I played in my brother’s band … after that I worked with Gatemouth Brown and Willie Mae Thornton … I worked for Don Robey till about 1962 … then I went to New York to work for Sceptre/Wand. I was house guitarist there and did sessions with Chuck Jackson, Maxine Brown, the Shirelles and Dionne Warwick….” said Hollimon, talking to Tim Schuller.
In the eighties Clarence’s tactful stylings became passé and he moved to Houston where he came across Carol Fran whom he’d met in 1957 in New Orleans. Soon they wed.
Fran had also worked for a legendary label - Excello. She’d take the twenty-five mile bus ride into Lafayette, to play piano for the label, sing demos and cut her own sides. She cut Emitt Lee, a regional hit, and played New Orleans’ famous Dewdrop Inn. “I was a fixture there,” says Fran.
Then to New York for a stint with Roulette. “I did some wonderful pop for Roulette, with full orchestras,” Fran says.
Tired of New York, Fran moved to Houston, where she wed Clarence. By the ‘80s they were back. Hollimon started getting session calls again, and cut two CDs with Fran.
Hollimon said of working with Jimmy Morello. “I just love Jimmy to death”.
Of all the couple’s CDs, this is their best showcase. Hollimon’s jazzy backing chords are heard to great effect on the vocal cuts. And check the guitar feast on Booty Butt and Herky Jerky, the latter spiced with a hint of reverb and echo – and the resonant vocals of Ms Fran, whose rich tones and phrasing make a lyric come alive. She’s heard on Put The Blame On Me, done in a New Orleans cadence, and the welcoming shuffle Texas Home. Clarence himself takes his first-ever turn at the mike on the wry and lively I Can’t Go For That.
Morello’s production is unhurried, with minimal overdubs. There’s spontaneity, passion, virtuosity and spirited singing here.
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