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World Music CD Reviews North American

Frankie Lee Sims

By James Rodgers
Published April 27, 2007

Walking With Frankie
Aim

Frankie Lee Sims is a minor footnote in the history of Texas blues, known primarily for being the cousin to Lightnin’ Hopkins. Australia-based Aim Records hopes to change that by releasing 14 recordings made in late 1960 for producer Bobby Robinson. Eleven of these tracks are previously unreleased, and while the sound is somewhat muddy, Sims’ strong electric guitar work and a growling voice full of passion and pain cuts through. These are easily as strong as most of the Texas blues recordings of the period, but Sims may have been his own worst enemy, refusing to tour, drinking heavily, and generally behaving erratically. He’s an artist who lived the blues, and you can hear that history in “My Home Ain’t There,” “Going Back to Dallas,” or either take of “Come Back Baby.” Hearing these long-lost songs, and thinking about what could have been, may give you the blues too.