Frummox


Band members               Related acts

- Steven Fromholz (RIP 2014) -- vocals, guitar

- Dan McCrimmon -- vocals, guitar

 

 

Steven Fromholz (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: country

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Here To There

Company: Probe

Catalog: CPLP4511 S
Year:
 1969

Country/State: Temple, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD  6095

Price: SOLD $24.00

 

This is kind of an interesting find.  The distinctive country-tinged songs aren't exactly up by alley, but under the banner of Frummox, singer/guitarists Steven Fromholz and Dan McCrimmon recorded an interesting (and hard to find collection) for ABC's progressive-oriented Probe label.  (In case anyone cared, Fromholz was pictured on the front and McCrimmon was on the flip side of the LP.

 

 

Steven Fromholz       -      Dan McCrimmon

 

With Fromholz and McCrimmon both contributing to the writing chores, 1969's "Here To There" has always struck me as being a concept album, though I have to admit the narrative's always been somewhat lost on me - it's occasionally struck me as being a mini-history of westward expansion, but what the hell do I know.  With one exception the music was pure country - the references you may see to folk-psych are largely crap, or hype by dealers trying to offload copies of the LP at grossly unrealistic prices.  That said, Fromholz and McCrimmon were quite good.  Both had nice voices that blended well together and most of these tracks were memorable and lyrically intriguing.  Anyone looking for your typical rock and roll swagger need not continue on ...

 

"Here To There" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Man in the Big Hat   (Steven Fromholz) - 6:00

Starting out with a spoken word narrative that set the stage for the rest of the album, 'Man in the Big Hat' sounded like the soundtrack for some sort of PBS special ...  Very country, but intriguing with some beautiful harmony vocals from the pair and the channel separation with Fromholz voice in one channel and McCirmmon's in the other, was truly strange.   rating: *** stars

2.) Kansas Legend   (Steven Fromholz) - 2:43

Opening up with some nifty banjo and fiddle (never thought I'd say that), 'Kansas Legend' was a jaunty tale seeming describing immigrants trying to carve out a life on the tough western frontier.   rating: *** stars

3.) Song for Stephen Stills   (Steven Fromholz) - 3:57

Hum ...  I like Stephen Stills, but can't say 'Song for Stephen Stills' did much for me ...  pretty, but largely forgettable folk number.   Fromholz apparently played with Stills before forming Frummox.    rating: ** stars

4.) Jake's Song   (Steven Fromholz) - 3:23

Ever wonder what Simon and Garfunkel would have sounded like had they been born and raised in Texas ?  Probably not, but if you ever wondered then check out the pretty ballad 'Jake's Song'.    rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Texas Trilogy 

     a.) Daybreak   (Steven Fromholz) - 3:18
     b.) Trainride   (Steven Fromholz) - 2:21
     c.) Bosque Country Romance   (Steven Fromholz) - 4:38

Based on Fomholz's childhood memories of growing up in Kopperl, Texas side two's 'Texas Trilogy' suite stands as the duo's best known song.  An extended three part suite, it was easy to see why Craig Hills and Bruce Jordan took the song as inspiration for their book "Texas Trilogy: Life In a Small Texas Town".  Fromholz also wrote a book based on the song.  Everytime I hear it I think the Lord for the cozy suburban life I've been blessed with.    rating: *** stars

2). There You Go   (Steven Fromholz - Dan McCrimmon) - 2:49

The lone collaboration between Fromholz and McCrimmon, 'There You Go' was the album's most commercial and pop oriented track (explaining why it was tapped as a single).  Totally unlike the rest of the album, it found the duo back by a band and sophisticated production.  It's a killer performance and easily the standout number on the album.   rating: ***** stars

3.) Weaving Is the Property of Few These Days   (Dan McCrimmon) - 3:36

Written by McCrimmon, 'Weaving Is the Property of Few These Days' was a pretty acoustic ballad.  A bit on the fey side lyrically (I still don't have a clue what it's about), the song featured the album's prettiest acoustic guitar.   rating: *** stars

4.) Lovin' Mind   (Dan McCrimmon) - 2:40

Another acoustic ballad with some nice banjo, 'Lovin' Mind' showcased the pair's wonderful harmony vocals.  Peter and Paul sans-Mary ...  rating: *** stars

 

As mentioned above, amazingly Probe actually tapped the album for a single:

 

-1969's 'There You Go' b/w 'Mary Martin' (Probe catalog number CP 470 A/B

 

One of those album's that inexplicably climbs onto your turntable time after time ...

 




 

 

There's a second Frummox LP 1982's "Frummox II" (Felicity catalog FR-003) and several Steven Fromholtz solo LPs, but I've never heard them.  

 

"Frummox II" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Sing One

2.) The Angel 

3.) Paradise 

4.) River Queen 

5.) Get Outta My Way 

6.) Jack Frost

 

(side 2)

1.) Attitudes 

2.) Talkin' Trucker Blues New York Groove 

3.) The Porter Makes the Train 

4.) White Chine Canyon

 

 

In his later years Fromholz was probably better known as a writer, having some of his catalog recorded by the likes of Hoyt Axton, Willie Nelson, and Jerry Jeff Walker.   He published several books and in 2007 the state of Texas named him poet laureate.  He has a small webs presence at:

 

www.StevenFromholz.com

 

Postscript - On January 29th, 2014 Fromholtz was killed in a tragic gun accident on the ranch where he lived just South of San Angelo.

 

 


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