I first heard Frank TOVEY one late night in 1987 when the video for “Luddite Joe” burst out of my parent’s TV into my brain. I went to New York shortly thereafter and combed my favorite record stores until I found a used copy of his greatest hits album then the album “Snakes and Ladders.” Both blew me away. Slowly I acquired the rest of his discography and each album blew my mind. Even as he went into his folk period I followed and did my best to enjoy and understand it.
A true artist does this to their audience: pushes them out fo their comfort zone, confronts them and asks them to at least acknowledge if not embrace the things they don’t want to. A girlfriend of mine hated his cover of Sam Hall and some other folky tracks despite liking folk music according to her definition of that genre. But he wasn’t covering old folks songs: he was recasting them in a modern guise.
He he died far too young as he was coming back into the public eye. A tragedy for many reasons.
This doc is required viewing if you do or do not know his work. Strap in and turn it on: