When Frankie Lee's came into the The Current's studios last spring, we hit it off well, and have stayed in touch though out the summer. When I found out that Frankie was heading to Northfield on Friday to play a house show, I sent a text seeing if I could ride along for the show. It worked out well, I had just wrapped a classical shoot for Performance Today when Frankie stopped by the studios to give me a ride and we set off down highway 52 to Northfield.
I've been following the house shows that Jessica Paxton and Jennifer Severtsgaard have been organizing in Northfield for over a year. When I was a Student at Carleton I worked with Jessica in the college media relations office as a student photographer. They've consistently brought some great Twin Cities musicians down to play the house show series. As we pulled into Northfield with about 30 minutes to kill, I remembered the old Canada Ave bridge at the end of the Carleton Arboretum. So we took the scenic shortcut, and pulled over at the old bridge to walk around for a bit. It was a great little spot to make a few portraits with the soft overcast light.
Jessica, who organizes the house shows, also has a AM radio show on the local station - KYMN. As part of the gig, Frankie stopped by the show to play a song on air and do a quick interview with Jessica.
After quick dinner and drink next door to the radio station at the Tavern Lounge, it was time to set up and load the gear in. Jake and Jeremy Hanson also drove down from the cities to back Frankie, and met us at the house. Frankie's friend Jordan, who plays bass and lives only two blocks form the house in Northfield joined as well. As the guys sound checked, it was surprising how good things sounded, only a few level tweaks and everyone was good to go. To step away before the show, we grabbed a few beer and stepped over to Jordan's place. At 9:00 it was time for the show. The crowd was good, a nice mix of people including a lot of faculty and staff from the college, but a few students and others from around and the cities too. It was a nice intimate show, lots of Frankie's songs, but a mix of covers too. With Lou Reed's recent passing, everyone seems to be looking back his work. Frankie and Jake swapped off lead vocals for a few Velvet Underground covers, a few of which were jammed out nicely. All too quickly it was time to wrap things up. Jake had another show that night, and had to run out to back it back in time for his set. After post show chatting, it was time to make the drive back to Saint Paul.