When asked to describe their music, the members of The Frankness will look at each other and laugh. This is not an uncommon answer from bands who blend different genres of music to develop their own. "Music is a very personal experience, and we hope that no two people will agree on a particular description of our music," says Emily McSherry who writes most of The Frankness' songs. "We can tell you who we are individually, but we have difficulty telling you who we are together."
And that is not a bad thing.
The Frankness is a tight trio consisting of Kevin Mavis on drums, John Stanislawski on guitar and vocals, and Emily McSherry on ukulele, bass and vocals. Despite coming from drastically different backgrounds they combine for a solid, singular sound.
Kevin was born in Turkey to a family of barbershop singers. Kevin isn't a singer so he decided the best place to hide from the barber shop pressure was behind the drums. He has been playing drums for 27 years now and uses his previous experiences from salsa bands, marching bands, jazz bands, and drum corps to assist him in developing a diverse yet understated style of playing that lends a very melodic quality of percussion to The Frankness sound.
The newest member of The Frankness family is John Stanislawski. John recently moved to Greenville from the great corn plains of central Illinois, but says he would do anything to live on the beach. John began playing guitar when he was a wee lad of 13. He fell in love with classic country at a young age, but that love affair ended when country musicians began rapping. John recently received a PhD in music and is called Dr. John by people who love to annoy him.
The Frankness is the brain child of Emily McSherry who is a Greenville native. She began singing at a young age on some of the most annoying children's sing-a-long cassette tapes, ever. Emily sang with several bands in the early 90's but didn't begin playing an instrument until much later. In 2009 she began playing the ukulele because it didn't leave harsh callouses on her fingers which were detramental to her career as a massage therapist. Emily recalls riding in the front seat of her dad's AMC Ambassador listening to old 8-tracks of Kenny Rogers and Roy Orbison but feels that her gospel upbringing has had the most impact on her vocal stylings.
If you took a big, cast-iron pot and put in some Willie Nelson, some Linda Rondstat, some Gram Parsons, a dash of Elvis and a pinch of Billie Holiday and stirred it up just right you might have an idea of what The Frankness sounds like.... Or do you? The Frankness presents a cohesive sound with enough varied creativity from song to song to keep you on your toes while tapping your feet. Their songs have a genuine feel of humor and heartache with honest lyrics and haunting melodies that will hit you like a gentle slap from your Granny.
So listen up! And keep it Frank!
All photos of The Frankness are copyrighted by Nate Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org