F.C. Westcott’s ‘Unfeigned ‘is great Colorado country rock
One of my favorite new CDs right now is F.C. Westcott’s “Unfeigned.” I know Westcott as Frank.
If you remember the local bands Boomtown or Grindstone, or if you have been in the Grand Valley over the past 20 years, you might know Frank as well.
I can remember Grindstone doing a kicked up version of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and thinking to myself that these guys have potential. That potential is starting to be realized in a big way with the release of “Unfeigned.”
Frank was born and raised in Grand Junction, coming from a family of old-time musicians on Glade Park and Disappointment Valley. As a youth he toyed with the piano and saxophone. He began playing guitar at 15 and started writing songs at 24 while working in the oil field, where he has been since graduating from college.
Frank has been in several bands over the years, most notably the alt-country Grindstone and traditional country Boomtown.
Lately, he has been spending time in Austin, Texas, for songwriting, networking and putting a band together to support the album. He aims for CD release shows and some regional touring in 2017.
“Unfeigned” was recorded at Aspen Leaf Recording Studio here in Grand Junction. It was engineered and co-produced by Ken Dravis. A vinyl version of the album will be available in January.
I asked Frank about the recording and this is what he had to say: “I started this recording project over two years ago. I wrote all 11 of the songs (one was co-written in Nashville). The songs actually span about two decades of life, with two of the cuts (“I’ll Never Come Back” and “We Time”) being written during the recording project.
“When going into Aspen Leaf, I knew Ken Dravis was a savvy engineer. I just wanted to make sure that the songs remained authentic by keeping some edge on the production, and I wanted to sound current but capture an essence of ‘70s rock albums like Jackson Brown, Bob Seger, etc.
“I wanted a David Lindley-esque lap steel player on several cuts. We found one in Mike Johnson out of Nashville. I also wanted to play guitar rather than hire that to a studio musician. That was actually one way to keep that ‘edge.’ I am not a spit and polished player.”
To me, the fact that Frank is not “a spit and polished player” is part of the beauty and appeal of “Unfeigned.”
When I played the CD for the first time I liked three or four of the songs right away.
Shades of Radney Foster, Darden Smith and Lyle Lovett came to mind — stylistically, though not as polished, which is a good thing.
Repeated listening to the album made it clear that this is a really good CD with 11 strong songs, excellent musicianship and a sincere delivery. Some of my favorites include the regretful “Someone Else’s Arms,” the ode to home with “Boom Town,” the Roger Miller-esque “That’ll Get Me Home,” the humorous bluegrassy torch song “Whiskey Bound,” the bittersweet “I’ll Never Come Back” and the breakup song “That Ain’t Me.”
Frank says there is a story behind every song. I didn’t ask him about any of them because individual interpretation is the beauty of music. But that is for a future column.
In the meantime, get yourself a copy of “Unfeigned.” It is Colorado country rock at its finest. The more I hear it, the more I like it.