Franck L. Goldwasser

Franck L. Goldwasser

French born guitarist Franck L. Goldwasser, aka “Paris Slim,” became enamored with American blues music as a teenager and worked to hone his craft before being discovered by renowned harmonica player Sugar Blue and California bluesman Sonny Rhodes, who brought him to the West Coast. Settling there in the 1980’s Goldwasser worked with a who’s who of the Bay Area’s most prestigious residents. His new album “Who Needs This Mess!!??”, the title track of which features musical cohorts Charlie Musselwhite, Sugaray Rayford and Kirk Fletcher, is scheduled for release in July 2023 on CrossCut Records. Like his storied career, the fifteen-track collection features a star-studded cast of friends, on a journey that flows over the musical landscape that grew out of the blues and his love for the guitar.

The opening track “Don’t Give Up On Me, Baby,” is a hard driving shuffle with jagged edge guitar carving out riffs and leads while a raspy vocal pleads for mercy. “I Don’t Want Your Love (I Just Want Your Lovin’)” is a hill country swing with gritty guitar over walking bass line and whimsical keyboards. The rambunctious funk groove instrumental, “Skwurley,” features Goldwasser’s greasy slide guitar sparing with playful chromatic harmonica from R.J. Mischo. The acoustic guitar and harmonica duet, “What Am I To Do?,” mixes piedmont and delta blues sensibilities in its simple lyrical form.

Kirk Fletcher guests on the comically titled “Disküm Baåb Uleh Shun,” a swing meets surf guitar instrumental with fun loving fuzzy guitar tones, bongo rhythms, theremin, and blues harp punches. Juke joint stomper “Had A Dream Last Night” burns like a political fever dream envisioning several prominent political figures getting booted out and a different kind of USA. On the blues ramble “Paris Woman,” Goldwasser and his guitar plead his case to the woman tormenting his poor heart. “Sobby Doggy Boogy,” instrumental number three, showcases his lap steel skills on an island spiced groover. Sugaray Rayford steps to the mic for “Who Needs That Mess!!??,” delivering life lessons on the traps of our material world bolstered by tribal toms, heavy distorted blues harp, and angular lead guitar. Alastair Greene and Goldwasser collaborated on “Monkey Junk,” digging deeper into the psychedelic trance blues with mysterious jungle rhythms to accompany the spoken word poetry.

“If I Could Holler” is a raggedy two beat lead by a tandem guitar and harp riff to set up the wishful thinking blues. “Ðumb & Dangerous” dishes up a full jug band remake of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” with Goldwasser working the dobro supported by percolating folk instruments. The epic track/ “Sweet Cream,” is a mash up of Fat Possum funk and Birmingham Blitz boogie, like John Bonham sitting with T-Model Ford. Goldwasser pulls off fine finger picking on the Chet Atkins’ inspired solo guitar number, “Raggmazazz.”

The bonus live track “Bleedin’ Heart,” from a 2014 appearance at the Portland waterfront festival, captured him with a full band working the 12-bar blues with the showstopping flare of seasoned pros.

Rick J Bowen


Formerly known in blues circles as “Paris Slim”, Franck L. Goldwasser was born and raised in Paris, France in the 1960’s and studied fine arts before moving to Oakland, California in 1983. A self-taught guitarist and vocalist, Goldwasser began studying the recordings of Elmore James, B.B. King, and T-Bone Walker at age 16. In 1978, Goldwasser’s first public appearance finds him jamming with the renowned harmonica player Sugar Blue (of Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” fame), then a Paris resident. Gaining experience while sitting-in with visiting American bluesmen such as Luther Allison, George Smith, Jimmy Dawkins, and Phillip Walker, Goldwasser lands his first professional gigs as backup guitarist for his idol Texas-bred California bluesman Sonny Rhodes in Paris and Reims. Following Rhodes’ invitation to come to California, the Frenchman spends three months in Oakland and Los Angeles in 1981, meeting and jamming with Big Mama Thornton, Smokey Wilson, Lowell Fulson, Frankie Lee, Mark Naftalin, Buddy Ace, Troyce Key and J.J. Malone, Cool Papa, and Mark Hummel, while documenting the West Coast blues scene for the French music magazine Soul Bag. Having moved permanently to the San Francisco Bay Area in June 1983 , Franck Goldwasser immerses himself in the vibrant East Bay blues scene, quickly landing a job in singer-guitarist Troyce Key’s band. While gigging every weekend at the famed Eli Mile High club, he hones his skills working alongside West Coast blues titans Percy Mayfield, Lowell Fulson, and Jimmy McCracklin, as well as Bay Area blues luminaries Omar “The Magnificient” Shariff (formerly Dave Alexander), Johnny Heartsman, Ron Thompson, and Elvin Bishop.

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JULY 7, 2023