“The night’s cold like Arizona
With an Alabama chill
I been living in your basement
I keep drinking from your still
And our history of fighting
Is finally buried in the sand
I keep watching all the walls fall down
At the mercy of your hand”
-Freddy & Francine, “Mama”
Technically, the walls didn’t actually fall down when Freddy & Francine made their Memphis debut – well, not literal walls, anyway. But this SoCal duo met a room full of mostly strangers and quickly made a powerful mark. (And speaking of no-longer-strangers, thanks to the folks who took a chance on us based on the Choose901 feature, and the neighbors who not only didn’t call the cops but joined us for the evening.)
Thanks to the ebb and flow of tour dates, I was lucky enough to host Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso (aka Freddy & Francine) an extra night, and although they were the world’s least intrusive houseguests, I got to enjoy a little extra bit of their company than I normally would before a show. So by the time they were warming up, I already felt like I was getting to watch old friends. Or at least camp friends that you become weirdly bonded with in a short amount of time.
Because of the insane awesomeness of Lee and Bianca’s voices, we decided to go fully unplugged for this show, which I internally fretted about until they actually took the stage (read: dining room rug) and their first notes rang through the entire house. Just the two of them, a guitar, and their boot-stomp rhythm section filled the heads and hearts of everyone in the audience. The stunning blend of their voices carries over into an on-stage rapport that almost made us wish they’d spend more time talking between songs … but just almost. Each song was met with rapt attention and followed by full-on hoots of appreciation (even the songs written on the fly, inspired by guests leaving for the restroom). The only disappointment of the entire evening came when they took a final bow.
It was truly my privilege to host Freddy & Francine’s first pass through Memphis, and to get to know Lee and Bianca along the way. I know they’ll get a very warm welcome whenever they return.
If you have something to say about this show, please sign the guest book.
I wish I’d caught some of F&F’s originals, but my video timing was off. I was lucky enough to (pretty poorly) record them playing one of my all-time favorite songs, though, with the added bonus of a totally on-point John Prine impression. (Sorry about the preview image, Bianca!)