Famous Framus Band
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Famous Framus Band

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Band Blues Punk

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The hellhounds still chasing Famous Framus

May 22, 2008
Graham Rockingham
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 22, 2008)
Famous Framus calls his music "neo-blues." The term certainly suits the 10 tracks on the Hamilton singer-songwriter's new CD, Down By Desire.

The songs may not sit well with fans of traditional blues, but they're anything but happy tunes. As a matter of fact, they're downright dark.

The opening track, Evelyn, was inspired by Hamilton's 1940s femme fatale, Evelyn Dick. It's hard to write happy music about a woman convicted of murdering her infant son, no matter how obviously attractive the dark-haired beauty was.

"Evelyn, such a doll, you kill us all," goes the chorus growled out by Famous Framus over the song's driving three-chord beat.

Famous Framus is the stage name for local factory worker Michael MaGarrey. He's been writing songs and playing local clubs at a ferocious rate for the past five years. He started out recording, just him and his guitar, at his home before putting a band together two years ago and releasing his first full-length recording, a rough-hewn CD called Eightball.

Down By Desire is his second album with the band, which consists of Dave Gould on drums and M.M. LeBlanc on harmonica.

As the Famous Framus Band, the trio plays a raw, foreboding form of blues-country-folk-rock that truly defies categorization.

Songs like Ride My Pony and Feels Like Goin' Home, for example, maybe inspired by the hellhounds on Robert Johnson's trail, but they're not your typical 12-bar blues. The rhythm pounded out by Gould rolls at a galloping pace. Gould doesn't simply keep beat on these songs, he seems to stay ahead of it, which is not easy to do considering MaGarrey's frantic, flailing guitar style.

"It's not the traditional museum blues," says MaGarrey. "There's nothing wrong with that stuff, but we like to take it and bring in different influences that we've all had, there's a bit of a punk influence, and, with this new record, it's all over the map."

MaGarrey's snarling vocal delivery maybe an acquired taste, but it certainly gets the point across, vicious and angry. LeBlanc's harmonica seems to come from another world, resonating through the album like a banshee's howl.

Then there's the album's powerful closer, Dark Time Blues, running at more than nine minutes. MaGarrey's slide guitar onslaught and Gould's rapid-fire shuffle make Dark Time Blues probably the closest to traditional blues. Yet the lyrics are filled with death, destruction, mother's cries and dread.

It's more than blues, it's an anthem for an ugly world.

"There's some dark themes in there," MaGarrey admits. "Dark Times Blues was written at a time of disappointment with the world. It's 2008. Are we getting any smarter or are we just repeating the same kind of themes over and over?"

Famous Framus' music may not be for everyone, but it's unique, and, at times, remarkable.
- The Hamilton Spectator



FAMOUS FRAMUS BAND Down By Desire (Three Chord)
Songwriter Famous Framus (a.k.a. Michael MaGarrey) and his band know one of the most important tricks to making enjoyable music: The fewer words a song has, the easier it'll be for people to sing along with it. Adhering to that maxim, a number of Down By Desire's tracks have no more than a handful of lyrical lines, yet never succumb to unintelligence. Album standout, "Easy," boils down to a repetitious "She let me down easy/She looked in my eyes and let me down easy/She let me down easy and I fell hard." This type of music treads a fine line between success and monotony, but there's no sign that the Famous Framus Band plan on falling to the tedious side. Sometimes blues, sometimes rock or country, Down By Desire fits comfortably between Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Howl and the United Steel Workers Of Montreal's Kerosene & Coal. Scott Bryson


- Chart Attack


Discography

2006 Release;
FAMOUS FRAMUS BAND "Eight Ball"
2008 Release;
FAMOUS FRAMUS BAND "Down By Desire"

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Bio

Famous Framus Band are a Punk/Blues duo from Hamilton Ontario Canada. They have a sound that is all their own. High energy, in the moment and raw.
Famous Framus plays swampy rhythms on electric Stratocaster and National slide Guitars. His passionate vocals hit you like a blunt instrument.
Dave Gould beats the Drums relentlessly, driving the songs like a runaway freight train.
Not Your Grandaddy's Blues! Combine equal chunks of the soul/spirit of Blues and the attitude/energy of Punk. Songs born on the rusty streets of steeltown.Songs about your demons howlin' at you!Songs about you howlin' back!
Famous Framus Band have independently recorded and released two albums.
2006's "Eight Ball" and the 2008 release "Down By Desire"