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John M. Borack

Some musicians seem to instinctively know their way around a tune, and Randy Franklin certainly is one of those blokes. On his excellent new CD, titled "Bloodlines," Franklin explores a variety of stylistic avenues and succeeds at a remarkable rate.

He's a little bit country ("Mabel Rae"), a little bit rock 'n' roll (on the Stonesy "She Wore Diamonds" and the self-explanatory "Turn it Up") and also takes stylistic detours into Merseybeat-flavored pop (the wonderful "This Girl"), sweet ballads (the heartbreakingly pretty "Cloud") and a bit of the blues ("So Beautiful").

The Tom Petty homage "Ready" is also quite fun, and "Haley" and "Say It's Me" prove that Franklin's musical bloodlines go back even further than the 1960s. Featuring a boatload of memorable choruses, pristine vocal harmonies and loads of tasty guitars (try "Papa New Guinea" on for size), "Bloodlines" is a welcome addition to Randy Franklin's musical catalog.