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Michael Robert Frank / Bio


Michael Frank took up the harmonica and blues record collecting in junior high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After his college graduation he moved to Chicago to practice social work in child welfare and to meet as many blues musicians as he could.

During the course of hanging out in a lot of blues bars, Michael discovered that many blues musicians who had made great records in the past were under represented in getting decent musical jobs and in making new records. So, starting in 1973 he began playing the harmonica with David "Honeyboy" Edwards as a duo and in a four piece blue band, managing and booking Honeyboy as well. He also booked and managed guitarist Jim Brewer until Jim died in May, 1989. Starting in 1976, the Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band played numerous Chicago and U.S. clubs, colleges, and festivals. including Elsewhere, B.L.U.E.S., University Of Illinois, and Chicago Blues Festival (three times), as well as festivals in Canada.

In 1978, Michael Frank started the Earwig Music Company to record and book underrepresented blues musicians and to assist these artists in furthering their careers. The label has released 66 blues, jazz, gospel, and storytelling recordings, and also produced for other labels. Michael and his Earwig staff have also produced numerous concerts and club tours, featuring revues of various artists on the label and other lesser known musicians. He is a member of the Blues Foundation Advisory Board and the National Academy of Recording Arts And Sciences (NARAS). He is available for lectures on the blues, and on the music business. He holds a Master of Social Work Degree. From 1972 to 2005 Michael also worked in the child welfare field, with abused and neglected children and their families, as a social worker and supervisor.

Though the Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band disbanded in 1985 due to the ill health of two members, Michael Frank and Honeyboy Edwards carried on, playing clubs and festivals around the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan and South America. Honeyboy’s health rapidly declined at age 95, and played his last gig, with me, at the Clarksdale, Mississippi Juke Joint Festival in April 2011. When Honeyboy died in August 2011, he was the last first generation blues musician still active and touring. Michael's role with Honeyboy included that of harmonica accompanist, manager, booking agent and biographer. Michael co-authored Honeyboy’s oral history, The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing. In performance, Michael played harmonica on part of the show, and facilitated Honeyboy's regaling the audience with his true-life blues tales.

Michael is now branching out on his own, and plans to tour with Les Copeland, Earwig Music recording from British Columbia, one of Honeyboy’s touring accompanists on rhythm guitar, as well as with other guitarists who used to play with him and Honeyboy.

General Info

Artist Name
Michael Robert Frank
Home Page
Blues / Singer Songwriter / Americana

Contact Info

Chicago, IL