Frank MacKay - "The Rhythm and Blues Dude"

 

In a recent CBC Maritime Radio poll, listeners were asked to vote for their favorite "local" band when they were growing up. The most popular choice, and by a substantial margin, was "Frank MacKay and The Lincolns". Put together in Truro, N.S. in the sixties, "The Lincolns" found their niche playing the music of noted black artists of the day. With powerhouse vocalist "Frank MacKay" leading the charge, "The Lincolns" would cut a swath through it's repertoire of "soul" classics the decade was famous for. Songs like "Hold On I'm Comin" by Sam and Dave, "I Feel Good" by James Brown, and the Percy Sledge masterpiece "When A Man Loves A Woman".

With the demise of "The Lincolns" and wanting to find a more creative outlet musically, Frank joined "Soma", a hand picked band made up of some of the best players Atlantic Canada had to offer. Electrifying stage performances and three top ten records earned "Soma" wide ranging recognition. Throughout the '70's they shared the stage with groups like Chicago, Rod Stewart, Santana, and Sly and The Family Stone, to name just a few. In reviewing "Soma", Peter Goddard of the Toronto Star described Frank's voice as being so powerful "it could cut through a platinum slab".

The 1980's saw Frank make the stretch into the theatrical side of the performance world. "Rock and Roll", based on his formative years with "The Lincolns", and written expressly for him by former "Lincoln" John MacLachlan Gray, had its world premiere in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. This great stage musical was eventually made into the movie, "The King of Friday Night", with Frank recreating the role of Donnie Parker, earning himself an ACTRA nomination in the process. Frank is also remembered for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the heroic Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables", and for his touching "Gus - The Theatre Cat" in "CATS".

As the millennium became reality, Frank returned to his first love, recording. The 2001 yuletide season saw the release of "Christmas Is" (Producer: Ross Billard), a collection of modern takes on a few of his personal holiday favorites. "Oh Me Oh My" (Producer:Ross Billard), including not only Frank's unique title track vocal, but also his beautiful cover of the 1960's classic "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", was launched in the fall of 2002. January 2004 saw the unveiling of the somewhat autobiographical "Out Of Paradise" (Producer: Alan Macumber), a compilation of twelve original songs inspired by Frank's R&B, Blues, and Jazz roots. This ECMA nominated CD spotlights Frank with a who's who of Nova Scotia based musicians and singers. "...the album percolates with the sounds of blues, country, r&b, and gospel" - Sandy MacDonald, HFX. 2008 saw the release of "Believe It Or Not" (Producer: Ross Billard), featuring a powerful performance of "Danny Boy" and a memorable version of the spiritual "I Exalt Thee". 2010 has Frank releasing his 5th CD as a solo artist, "It Takes All Kinds".

Frank MacKay, "The Rhythm and Blues Dude", continues to astound audiences with his phenomenally talented "R & B All Stars", a saxophone driven, flat-out old fashioned Rhythm & Blues machine, featuring what Frank himself calls "The best music this side of Yesterday".

Frank MacKay
Frank MacKay
 
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