Many Blues guitarists can point to some fairly potent mentors on their way up the genre ladder. Joe Bonamassa received tips from the late Danny Gatton and major juice from B.B. King when he was a mere teenager, while Stevie Ray Vaughan got encouragement and work from the likes of Jackson Browne and David Bowie.
For Chicagoan Frank Blinkal, a day-and-night club job at Buddy Guy’s Legends gave him a front row seat and unprecedented access to some of the greatest names in Blues — Otis Rush, Lonnie Brooks and Junior Wells, not to mention Legends’ illustrious owner.
When Guy gave Blinkal and his band a regular slot on the Legends schedule, he recognized superior talent and offered the young guitarist a position in his touring band, affording Blinkal limitless opportunities, such as jamming with Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Carlos Santana and Dave Matthews, among many others.
After his long apprenticeship, Blinkal — long known by the “nom du rocque” Frank Bang — formed a new band that he dubbed the Secret Stash and set out to carve his own unique Blues niche in the well-populated field.
Bang’s superior slide guitar skills and powerful riffing give the Secret Stash a distinctive Americana/Southern Rock vibe, as evidenced by his numerous live and studio recordings over the past decade and a half. The best of the bunch may well be his latest project and first new album in six years, Double Dare, which can be heard in its entirety on Bang’s website (frankbang.net) while he works out the details of its physical release.
March may come in like a lamb and go out like a lion, but the Secret Stash comes in and goes out with the same Bang.
FRANK BANG & THE SECRET STASH perform Friday, March 22 at the Southgate House Revival in Newport. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.