Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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Keith Frank

& the Soileau Zydeco Band

Click here for high res photos of Keith Frank posted on Flickr.



The top photo was taken at the 2007 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. The other large photo was taken at
2006 Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette. Thumbnails
(click to enlarge) include Jennifer Frank on bass
and Brad Frank on drums. The next two rows
were taken at Festivals Acadiens. In the bottom
row, Lucien Hayes in on guitar and Brian Allen
is on scrubboard. Julie Ceasar demonstrates
that, in addition to being a great dancer, she
can also play the drums.

Double CD
Released in 2007

On the front  cover of his 2007 double CD, Keith Frank is wearing a shirt emblazoned with “King of Kings.” The word “Undisputed” float in large type over his head, and the image of a lion’s head in the background. These references, however, are not a continuation of the Zydeco tradition of one-upmanship to rule over the musical kingdom established by Clifton Chenier but a celebration of the power of God, proclaimed in reggae style in Keith’s own song “Undisputed” and in his Zydeco version of Bob Marley’s “Iron Lion Zion.”

If, however, fans choose to see Keith Frank as the undisputed king of kings of Zydeco, they will find plenty of support in this pair of CDs in which Keith continues to explore new directions by incorporating reggae, hip hop, and swing out with his own Zydeco beat while also affirming his roots in the Creole tradition by including songs performed in French by himself, his father and his grandfather.

His own songs  on Undisputed cover a variety of life’s triumphs and difficulties with titles like “Dreams Come True,” “Start All Over,” ”Miss Mandry,” about working hard whether as a housewife, a mechanic, or a musician, and “Angie,” a song about domestic violence. In “Squeezebox,” the lyrics are really just part of the dance rhythm. In “Simple Music,” Keith gives us a perspective on his musical outlook. “Keith’s Theme Song” uses bass in combination with the accordion, smoothly carrying both melody and rhythm.  Norris “Tucka” Boutte does the vocals on “The Hustla’s Lounge” and also does some rap.

Keith and the band cover “I Just Don’t Wanna Be Lonely,” a 1974 hit by the soul and R&B group The Main Ingredient and offer their version of the New Edition’s “Candy Girl.”

The second CD in the set, titled To Be Perfectly Frank, draws on the Frank family’s deep roots in the Creole tradition, on display directly in traditional songs like “Flames of Hell” and “Who Stole the Pies?” with Keith’s father, Preston, on both accordion and vocals and on “Josephine Is Not My Wife,” on which Keith sings in French and his father is on accordion. Keith even enlists his 85-year-old grandfather, Paul Frank, to play accordion on the instrumental “Paul Frank Special” and on “Tante Adèle,” sung by Preston Frank. Keith also offers his own tribute to “L’Anse de Prien Noir,” a rural Creole community in Evangeline Parish.  The most surprising cut on the second CD is Keith’s version of “If I Had a Hammer,” which began as folk song (by Pete Seeger) and is familiar to some of us in the Peter, Paul and Mary recording, before it was covered by Trini Lopez, the version that inspired Keith to record the song.  The last cut begins with a traditional accordion instrumental before morphing into “Love the One Your With“ (the Stephen Stills song from 1970).

Other musicians on the CD include Jennifer Frank on bass, Brad Frank on drums, Lucien Hayes on guitar, bass, and keyboards, and Brian Allen on scrubboard. The liner notes include lyrics for the Undisputed CD and an in-depth profile of Keith and the Frank Family by Dan Willging.


For the latest on the band, go to Keith Frank's web site or to his MySpace page.

Click here to return to the first LSUE page on Keith Frank.

Posted 5-25-07

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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