DJ Pick of the Week: Bill DeVille, The Frightnrs, 'Nothing More To Say'


The Frightnrs at Daptone Records
The Frightnrs (left to right) Chuck Patel, Richard Terrana, Dan Klein, and Preet Patel, pictured outside Daptone Records in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Kisha Bari)
The FRIGHTNRS - Nothing More to Say
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The Current's DJ Pick of the Week is a new offering in which The Current's hosts take turns talking about a tune that's recently captured their attention. Bill DeVille begins the new series with his pick for the week of Nov. 7, 2016.

I have been a fan of Jamaican music for years. A friend of mine had asked me if I had heard The Frightnrs. He had told me that they were a pretty new band, but that their new recording sounded like it was recorded in mid-Sixties Jamaica. This piqued my curiosity, but I didn't really follow up on it.

Then, a few weeks later, my wife and I are on vacation in Austin, Texas, and we were doing some record shopping. There was that album by The Frightnrs, I had remembered their name. I gave the album a listen — and I loved it! This was real authentic rock-steady music, which was the popular music of Jamaica that came just after ska and right before reggae in the middle 1960s.

I bought the album, and I listened to it quite a bit. The band have such a great sound. You can hear how much they love this music in the tight and soulful harmonies over the Caribbean-inspired beats of their songs. I also hear plenty of American doo-wop and soul from the 1950s and '60s in The Frightnrs' sound. Like much of the music I love, it transported me to a different time and place.

As I became more infatuated with this album, I googled the band. I learned it was being played by four young men from Queens, New York. Their album is called Nothing More to Say, which was recorded at Daptone House of Soul and released on the famed Daptone label, the label that has brought us albums by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and by Charles Bradley, among others.

Then I learned the rest of the story. The Frightnrs' singer, Daniel Klein, was struggling to sing while the band was recording Nothing More to Say, often forced to use oxygen tanks during the recording process. It turns out he had been diagnosed with ALS. Klein and the band gave it everything they had, and they were able to finish the album. Last June, Klein went to see a Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings show in New York, and Jones has been dealing with some serious health issues of her own. Later that night, Klein died at his home, two months before the release of The Frightnrs' debut album, Nothing More to Say.

What I learned is this: "Follow your dreams, we are promised no tomorrows." I chose the album's title cut as The Current's DJ Pick of the Week. Rest in peace, Daniel Klein.


The Frightnrs - official site

Daptone Records - official site

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