Eric Sorensen Reviews


Les Fradkin-"JANGLEHOLIC" (RRO-1010) Les sure does love that fireglow Rickenbacker 360V64 12-string guitar of his! Once again, this George Harrison model Rickenbacker is featured on the cover of Les' latest album (Les confided that he is a disciple of the Frank Zappa school of prolific recording) - Jangleholic. The album features several original tunes and Les' cover versions of some of his favorite songs from the past five decades. The title track recounts Les' lifelong love affair with the jangly, chiming sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar. Roger McGuinn turned many Bob Dylan folk songs into sing-along pop tunes with 4/4 time and chiming Rickenbacker riffs; Les does the same on his version of Dylan's "I Want You." If you ever wondered what a Simon & Garfunkel tune would have sounded like with Rickenbacker 12-string accompaniment, check out Les' fab version of "The Dangling Conversation." Les shines on the other cover tunes as well as on his own compositions. Les further enhances the chiming guitar licks with the use of the superb effects pedal - the JangleBox. (It's a small world - I met JangleBox inventor Steve Lasko last year, and I ran into him again at a Roger McGuinn concert!) Les is busy working on his next release; until that disc hits the street, this album should be the top attraction for jangleholics in 2006! You can find it at the following web link: Move over Starry Eyed & Laughing and Starbyrd; Les Fradkin belongs in that first pew of Jangledom with you!

LES FRADKIN: "PERFECT WORLD" (RRO-1004) Perfect World - by veteran jangly artist Les Fradkin, who once played with Edison Lighthouse. If you admire 60s pop, you can't help but sing along and tap your feet to this disc! Fradkin's guitars chime on numerous tracks, but his great cover of "Funny How Love Can Be" should delight Rickenbacker 12-string fans. This album also has the distinction of featuring the 60s studio artists affectionately known as the "Wrecking Crew." Fradkin wears his love of 60s pop music on his very talented sleeve. Long may you run, Sir Les!

LES FRADKIN-"Goin' Back" RRO-1009 and LES FRADKIN-"Love You 2" (RRO-1008) -
When it comes to Roger McGuinn disciples … and George Harrison disciples (Les portrayed Harrison in the original Broadway cast of Beatlemania), Les Fradkin is among the leaders of the pack. These two discs feature, respectively, twelve very jangly tracks and eleven Beatles tunes (nine of which are Harrison-penned tunes). Les' fireglow Rickenbacker 360V64 12-string guitar is pictured on the cover of both discs. Almost every track has that snappy compressed sound that Roger McGuinn is known for. Among my favorite tracks are Les'cover version of "So You Want To Be A Rock'n'Roll Star" and all of the Beatles cover tunes. Fans of jangly music should acquire both of these discs … and be on the lookout for the two-volume Jangleholic compilation that Les plans to release this month (Volume One) and in March (Volume Two). Long may you run, Sir Les!

LES FRADKIN: "WHILE MY GUITAR ONLY PLAYS" (RRO-1005) While My Guitar Only Plays - by Les Fradkin. Fradkin follows up his 2004 solo disc with this 14-track (all Beatles tunes) instrumental disc that features Nokie Edwards of the Ventures. Fradkin portrayed George Harrison in the original Broadway production of "Beatlemania," and there's lots of jangly, chiming guitars on the Harrison-penned tracks on this disc. The Fradkin/Edwards guitars work well in unison, and I hardly miss the vocals on these classic Fab Four tunes. Twelve-string Rickenbacker fans will dig these instrumental treatments.