On Saturday, April 8, New York native singer/songwriter Shlomo Franklin headlined at the iconic Bitter End. “It’s quite exciting for me,” Franklin said, “When I started out two years ago, I had no band, a few songs, and not much experience and they gave me a 6pm slot on a Tuesday. To get the prime slot is a special milestone for me.” Franklin now plays with a full band, has a complete repertoire of original music, and has grown as a musician and performer beyond any doubt that he deserves to be headlining shows where he performs.
Shlomo Franklin took the stage before a full house at The Bitter End in his classic overalls, boots, and cap, looking like he came in straight from the wheat fields with callused fingers from plowing and picking the guitar strings. He introduces himself to the crowd in a way that is humble, simple, yet earnest.
The look and presence are undeniable, but of course, that all means nothing without the sound. Shlomo Franklin has the sound of an absolutely authentic country, bluegrass, and blues musician in the classic sense when that meant something beyond poppy, sing-along choruses, louds of reverb, and a 4/4 thumping kick drum. Franklin’s music is genuine and raw, attributes that don’t phase in and out of style. Franklin is a true and traditional folk musician my grandfather would’ve loved, god bless his soul, and that man had an impeccable taste in music.
Franklin performs with a child-like enthusiasm and joy with an almost naïve type of confidence, knowing what he’s doing is right. Songs like “January Eyes,” his most recent single, have such a personal sincerity that the audience can’t help but be empathetic to. Franklin is so accessible that. by the end, the performance has become a cathartic experience the audience shares with him and one another. Creating such a bond is a skill that cannot be learned, but rather an innate ability that makes Shlomo Franklin such a special performer and artist.
Photos by Meredith Passaro.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.