You Don’t Know Nothing

From the first notes of the soul-drenched title track—you do know that you’re in good hands. Frank Bey, a powerhouse vocalist, hits you right between the eyes with a series of tough questions about being in love and smitten with one’s object of desire, and then answers his questions by affirming that “You don’t know nothing about love.” Tough! At 17, Bey joined the Otis Redding Revue where he worked as the opening act—and Redding’s influence is unmistakable. He’s backed on this 10-song CD (recorded last July at San Francisco’s Biscuits & Blues club) by guitarist Anthony Paule and a top-notch sextet composed of Bay Area blues veterans. Paule’s own “Can’t Get the Time of Day,” a bouncy blues, looks at the other end of the love spectrum: He can’t even get the time of day from her. Bey, who dropped out of music during the 1980s and ’90s, imbues Ray Charles’ “Hard Times” with an immense feeling obviously informed by his own hard times. Paule dazzles on every track, especially on the up-tempo “Get Your Money Where You Spend Your Time” (another love-gone-wrong song) and his solo feature, “Town Without Pity.” At eight minutes, Bey’s reading of John Lennon’s “Imagine” is the disc’s standout track. Highly recommended!