Frank & Allie Lee just finished a video for “Lost John,” the advance single from their February 7, 2020 release, Treat a Stranger Right. Treat a Stranger Right was produced by Allie Lee, Frank Lee, and Bruce Lang; recorded & mixed by Bruce Lang and Big Creek Recording, Barnardsville, NC, and mastered by Independent Mastering, Nashville.
“Lost John” is Frank Lee on Polo Burguière nylon string fretless banjo d#BD#F#B, and harmony vocals, Allie Lee on E harmonica cross harp and lead vocal. This song was learned and adapted from Burnett & Rutherford’s guitar and fiddle arrangement. The banjo lick is influenced by blues guitarist R.L. Burnside.
The video was filmed in Bryson City, NC by Ty Gilpin of Crossroads Music Group and Bob Peck of Mountain Water Films. The character of Lost John is played by Darren Wallace and the character of Young Girl is played by Willow Lee.
With suspenseful opening footage, “Lost John” will make you catch your breath amidst the wonderful old time earthy arrangement by Frank & Allie Lee. Frank & Allie have skillfully tapped into a natural, primordial resonant sound. And the video is a charming depiction.
Purveyors of early southern rural music know that none of it is culturally specific. “Lost John” turned out to be a perfect song to convey this idea. We learned it as a fiddle tune and decided it would work well set to a blues groove with fretless banjo and harmonica.
Serendipity was on our side when we filmed the video for “Lost John.” The lyrics talk about a hobo named Lost John, a train, and a dog. We didn’t have a plan for how we would include those things in the video when the videographers arrived at our house! First, our neighbor volunteered to play the part of the hobo. He brought Lost John to life perfectly! Then, we were filming about a half mile away by the tracks of The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, and the train went by with passengers. And if that wasn’t enough, as the train was going by, an energetic dog was walking off leash with its owners. The dog didn’t need any coaxing to chase “Lost John”! And finally, the best surprise was that our daughter was able to join the shoot in a really sweet scene at the end. We love that the video came together organically, the same way the arrangement of the song did years ago before we recorded it for this album. — Frank and Allie
Order Frank & Allie’s album TREAT A STRANGER RIGHT coming February 7: https://www.frankandallie.com/