Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, a new concept album titled “Austin Texas The Rock Opera” will be released in April 2017. Fehmi Nuhoglu aka FRANKY is the leader of “Franky And The Band”. He is an Austin, TX based novelist, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer. An engineer by day and a writer by night, this passionate chocolate lover is committed to create high quality sound in all music genres.
Says Franky, “This album and book project, together with the novella “A Love Like Texas Weather” is a tribute to Austin, TX, which deeply inspired me with its diversity in music, unique lifestyle and tranquility. To all of the most incredible musicians, soulful singers, engineers, artists and everyone involved with Franky And the Band, thank you for giving your best to the project, as Austin City deserves.”
Austin Texas The Rock Opera
First song for Austin, TX – “Austin Where I Long To Be”: The project started in 2010, when Franky wrote a rock song about Austin, TX: “Austin, Where I Long to Be.” He considers this song a thank-you to the city for the inspiration it has given him since 2008. When arranging this special song, he wanted a richer sound with a full band, so he rearranged the style of the song to blues-rock-pop so that everyone could sing along.
The Novella – “A Love Like Texas Weather”: As new ideas continued to come to mind, Franky decided to make a whole album about Austin. He wrote a story through which he could describe the city in a better way, creating characters like Travis and Texy and using the tale of their love to promote the city.
The Concept Album – “Austin Texas The Rock Opera”: Driven by the desire to keep the songs as they were originally written, and to include a diversity of styles including: rock, blues, blues rock, country, R & B, Latino, pop, etc., Franky decided to frame the “concept album” as “Austin Texas the Rock Opera.”
The Musical Play: Although the resulting album is a rock opera, the authentic story and diverse music have driven Franky to write a musical play version, too. At the date of this book’s publication, he is still working on it.
Franky wanted to record each song in the birthplace of its genre. He started with blues, turning to the multi-Grammy nominated Joyride Studio in Chicago, IL. Recordings began in January 2016 with Grammy-winning engineer Blaise Barton and Brian Leach. As the project’s scope grew, Gravity Studios of IL was also brought on board. Recording and mixing lasted almost six months, ending in July 2016.
Franky travelled all over the country seeking versatile musicians for his band. The first members were Ric Jaz (Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and guitar player for legendary Buddy Guy as well) and Kenny Anderson (Blues Hall of Fame-er and trumpet player for Bill McFarland Chicago Horns Band). Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame-ers David Service (bass) and Malcom L. Banks Sr soon joined, as well. At the end of several auditions, Franky decided on Jennifer Williams as female vocalist and Brian Leach as singer and multi-instrumentalist and engineer. World-class music professionals supported the band, and many songs feature guest artists like Lynne Jordan, Theo Huff, the Hoyle Brothers, John T. Rice, Roosevelt Purifoy, Matthew Skoller and Bill McFarland Chicago Horns, to name a few.
All 13 songs of the concept album are composed, arranged, lyrics written, co-mixed, produced, and copyrighted by Franky. Six horn arrangements and two string arrangements were made by Kenny Anderson. The process has taken hundreds of hours of rehearsing and studio time so far. Franky has spent several weeks in studios, assisting to the whole rehearsing, recording, and mixing sessions. The mixes were mastered by Jerry Tubb in Terra Nova, the multi-Grammy nominated studio in Austin, TX.
Meanwhile, two editors worked on the novella “A Love Like Texas Weather” written by Franky to accompany the album. And Dick Reeves, the 2016 Grammy winner from Austin, TX, was commissioned to design artwork for the whole project, including the CD album cover and the novella cover.
Fehmi Nuhoglu, aka Franky, has been a member and songwriter of several rock bands, composed many songs, and performed in Europe with many local artists. As a college sophomore in engineering school, he had to put his musical career aside, but Franky remained a private composer/songwriter until he arrived in Austin, TX, in 2008 – when his wife, Irem, a UT professor, made her home there. Affected by the city’s unique lifestyle and finding new peace of mind in Austin, Franky returned to music composition – which he now balances with his work in engineering.
Watch the new video “Live Music Capital”: https://youtu.be/bCudr8teqMQ