Frank Viele is a soulful roots/blues artist from Connecticut and has recently released his latest album "What's His Name?". Frank has won multiple New England Music Awards and has been playing dates with Lee DeWyze of American Idol fame this winter.
Up until now, Frank Viele has been something of a regional secret throughout New England. His quadruple-threat reputation as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and performer is unrivaled in the region, as recognized by the New England Music Awards with nods for Album of the Year, Male Performer of the Year and Live Act of The Year.
Of course, musically tuned-in folks have been hearing reports of Viele’s prowess for several years. No Depression might have piqued their curiosity with its praise for his “vivid storytelling.” Or maybe they read about his singing in The Alternate Root, which observed that his “street growl” could rivet a passerby. Howl Magazine even called his shows “transcendent” and predicted that his music “will rattle your bones and penetrate to the core.”
Audiences around the country have begun taking notice as Viele plays in further-flung venues. Since his first album Fall Your Way dropped in 2015 he’s been called to open for Will Hoge, Blues Traveler, Lee DeWyze, Zach Myers of Shinedown and The Marshall Tucker Band- in his somewhat wonder-struck words, “artists who have been on my personal playlists for years.”
"What’s His Name?" is a personal tour de force of passion, candor and craft. Viele’s singing is unforgettable — rough-edged yet nuanced, straddling that line where poetic interpretation and raw emotion meet. The impressions he made during his early gigs broaden on What’s His Name? Rugged Americana, deep blues and gut-wrenching soul create a potent new brew on “Cigarettes, Throwing Stones, & Lies.” Unlikely elements — a gentle groove kissed by congas, a milky bass tone and wind chimes — caress Viele’s anguished romanticism on “If You Could Only Read My Mind.” Those same sentiments take on an even sharper edge when lashed with earthy lie guitar and stirred by churchy harmonies on “Till The Bourbon’s All Gone.” The sting of betrayal turns up the heat even more over a thumping funk groove on the title cut. And one track, “Pomegranate,” stands out from anything Viele has done before, thanks to the strings that augment the reflective lyric, courtesy of arranger/cellist Dave Eggar (Ray Lamontagne/Coldplay/Pearl Jam).
“I’ve never taken the easy road musically,” Viele insists. “When you hear Otis Redding’s Blue or Bob Seger’s Night Moves, you feel it. Those songs grab you. That’s what music is supposed to do. That’s what I want to do.”
And he does. The proof is in every moment of What’s His Name? and in its aftermath, when you realize what you’ve been missing in your music for a long time — until now.
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