Since 2006, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Frankland has been writing under the moniker of Slackeye Slim. Formerly a bass player in various punk, noise, and experimental bands around northeast Ohio, Frankland grew out of those styles of music and took a step in a more country direction. In 2007, Slackeye Slim’s debut, “Texas Whore Pleaser,” was independently released and went largely unnoticed in spite of its small cult following. Still, Frankland spent the next few years playing shows, moved to Montana and began developing new material which would later turn into a more refined version of the rough, lofi songs found on “Texas Whore Pleaser.”
“El Santo Grial: La Pistola Piadosa,” a concept album about a man, a gun, and revenge was recorded in various makeshift studios around Montana, including a junkyard near Bozeman, an old mansion in Anaconda, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Butte. It was called “Album of the Year” by Saving Country Music and made their “Top Ten Underground Country albums of All Time” list, put on many essential listening lists, earned Slackeye Slim play on Sirius XM and countless community stations across the US and beyond.
Following the success of “El Santo Grial,” Frankland recruited a few musicians and toured to support the album before quietly disappearing to work on new material.
Armed with his background as an electrical engineer, Frankland decided to favor a more “smart DIY” approach, designing his own guitar effects pedals and recording equipment, recording, mixing and mastering his music, and allowing his music to find its own fans rather than rely on help from anyone. During this time, he spent a year living on a working ranch in western Colorado - spending his nights pouring over Edward Abbey and Carlos Castaneda books, and his days wandering the surrounding deserts and canyons with little more than a guitar or banjo and a notebook. The resulting songs comprised Slackeye Slim’s latest album, “Giving My Bones to the Western Lands,” an incredibly inspired album about loneliness, bad blood, and trying to make sense of the losses and mistakes of the past. Undeniably Slackeye Slim’s most complex and mature work, the album was entirely performed and recorded by Frankland on the ranch where he lived – in the dilapidated buildings of an old homestead on the property, as well as in various indoor and outdoor locations around the ranch.
Opting out of the bureaucracy of the music industry and the never-ending fashion show that so many musicians unfortunately embrace, “Giving My Bones to the Western Lands” is a call for a return to integrity in music. That is, music written exclusively for the love of music instead of for social success. The album will be available January 20, 2015 as a suggested donation download.