He is Frank Fairfield. A musician. A banjo picker. A fiddle hummer. A song singer. We’ve heard him described as someone who was discovered at a farmers market out in California, as if he were some long lost treasure or mythical land.
“One of America’s best conduits of antiquity” (Pitchfork)
He plays the American landscape, the one he himself sees and experiences. He goes about it with the only tools necessary, as any good craftsman would. A man not competing with time, only living in his own.
Frank sings tunes he has worked hard to collect from around the world as well as his own well-dusted ditties. His eclectic sets feature soaring hillbilly ballads, arcane rambling songs and murder ballads delivered in a reedy tenor with that irresistible American “primitive” quality. He cut his teeth as a street performer in LA and has the raw intensity and quick-fingered technique to make your hairs stand on end.
“He plays with a rare integrity, offering up his life in a way that does exactly what folk music must do – it relates the world as the singer sees it, mixing sadness with sweetness, excitement with low-down and miserable depression… Like the best of it all, Fairfield’s music seems inexorably real and entirely necessary.”
(Grayson Currin, Pitchfork)
“A young Californian who sings and plays as someone who’s crawled out of the Virginia mountains carrying familiar songs that in his hands sound forgotten: broken lines, a dissonant drone, the fiddle or the banjo all percussion, every rising moment louder than the one before it.” (Greil Marcus)
Frank has released music on Jack White‘s Third Man records, Tompkins Square and on his own Pawn imprint.