.Heartfelt Return—Frankie Boots Gets Back on Stage

Sonoma County–bred singer-songwriter Frankie Boots never takes for granted the joys of performing on stage for a live audience, yet he’s rarely looked forward to playing a show as much as he is looking forward to his headlining appearance on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma.

“This is going to be a homecoming, of sorts,” Boots says.

The concert will be Boots’ first time playing live in the North Bay since moving back to the region from New Orleans at the onset of the pandemic. It will also be his first time on stage since he was assaulted, in July, outside the Twin Oaks Roadhouse while attending a show. The unprovoked attack left him with a broken nose, a fractured cheekbone and other injuries; as well as thousands of dollars in medical bills.

In August, Boots and Santa Rosa–musicians John Courage and Francesco Echo—who were also assaulted in the incident—spoke to the Bohemian about the attack and the need for more focus on safety and inclusivity in the local scene (“Venue for Debate,” Aug. 10).

Since the incident, Boots has received an outpouring of support, including a successful GoFundMe fundraiser to help with the bills, and he is encouraged that Twin Oaks Roadhouse is implementing measures like adding security to its events.

“It’s important that we have a lot of places for people to enjoy music,” Boots says. “It’s about making sure those places are safe.”

Moving forward, Boots recently wrapped up production on his fourth studio album, Free Range Songs From the Heart, which was in the works since before the pandemic.

He currently plans to release several singles from the album in early 2022, leading up to the record’s release in the spring.

Musically, the album is Boots’ most wide-ranging output yet, with songs written and recorded between living in New Orleans and visiting the West Coast pre-pandemic.

“My whole career I’ve been bouncing between a classic honky-tonk sound or early R&B or rock ’n’ roll,” he says. “Even though the songs can all be classified as Americana, they each have a different vibe to them. That’s the way I like to do it.”

Boots will preview several of the new album’s songs when he performs with a full band on Dec. 17 at the Mystic Theatre in a show that also features two other local heroes. Opening the show, Petaluma-native and Nevada-based Jade Brodie will play her brand of blue-collar folk, and Easy Leaves–bassist Kevin Carducci fronts his honky-tonk band Lowstar Rodeo.

For his own headlining set, Boots fronts a full band featuring Courage on guitar, Echo on bass, drummer Linden Reed and singer Schlee.

“I’ve been waiting for this pandemic to end and thinking that there was going to be a finish line or a green light to go,” Boots says. “As we know, it hasn’t really been that way. But, for me, I feel like this show is going to be that green light that’s going to mark my reentry into going back to music full-time.”

Frankie Boots performs on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma. 8:30pm. $18. 21 and over. Proof of vaccination required. mystictheatre.com
Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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