photo- Michael Stewart
Blues artists Michael Baytop and Rick Franklin are
a Washington, D.C. based duo who share an appreciation for Memphis legends
Frank Stokes and Dan Sane and the acoustic guitar duet tradition. This
CD was conceived as a tribute to Stokes and Sane, and as a sample of the
types of guitar based music they and other
street singers would have played in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
It also showcases Baytop and Franklins own musical voices and the
particular circumstances in which they developed their blues perspectives.
Both Baytop and Franklin were born in the Washington, D.C. area and were
initially exposed to rhythm and blues in their homes as children. Baytops
father played harmonica and tried to interest his son in that instrument
to no avail. Later in life, however, inspired by Archie Edwards, Michael
learned both guitar and harmonica. He also learned to play the bones from
one of Edwards barbershop buddies, a percussionist known as Mr.
Bones. Since Mr. Bones passed away, Baytop has been carrying on
this relatively obscure tradition with links to the minstrel show era
and African percussion tradition. He also carried on other lessons learned
in Archie Edwards barbershop through his leadership in the Archie
Edwards Blues Foundation which has kept the barbershop as a memorial to
Edwards and the musicians of his generation while providing a place for
younger musicians to gather and play in a community of like-minded blues