Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Frankly, something different

Brian Chaffe is probably best known around these parts as frontman for the Franks, a funky rock troupe that puts a hard edge on its jams. But Chaffee is also at work on his first solo CD and not opposed to the occasional scaled-down gig, such as the one he has Friday at the Coppertop with drummer Adam Sausville.

Performing as Brian & AJ, the pair will dip into Chaffees originals and covers spanning Beatles to Radiohead. Show time is 8 p.m.

Sausville and Chaffee were both in the band Krakow, which drew a good following among the Central Mass jam-band scene in the '90s. After Krakow disbanded, Chaffee helped launch the Franks and Sausville took his drumming skills into a variety of projects ranging from rock to country (he also is part of the crew that makes sure the lifts are running properly at Wachusett).

The two only team a couple of times in a year, and each sees it as a chance to craft a loose, freewheeling set.

 "He can send me a songlist the night before and we know each other well enough that we'll know how to work through the songs in the show," Sausville says. "It's fun to let it unfold as it happens."

Chaffee likewise sees this kind of show as a chance to stretch out, and he'll come armed with keys, guitars, and probably a ukulele.

"I don't care if it's a song by T.I. or the Foo Fighters, I like playing in a jazz setting, improvising," he says. "I like going by the seat of my pants."

Work is under way on a new Franks CD, and Chaffee says he also started his solo project, which will contain some songs that are brand new and some that just didn't fit into the band.

"It's a blessing and curse," Chaffee says of working on his own. "I do get to do everything exactly my way. But with the band, you do get that benefit some times of extra sets of ears."

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