Longtime musical friends (video 2:02)

Longtime musical friends (video 2:02)
Longtime musical friends (video 2:02)
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Frank Coleman (vocal/guitar) and Chris Fuller (vocal/mandolin/guitar) are in their 26th year playing together on the Richmond music scene. Their show of both originals and covers Thursday at Ashland Coffee and Tea showcased their musical ease and friendship – punctuated with banter like a longtime married couple might have. In fact, Frank calls the duo his “second marriage…Lord knows there’s times when Chris has driven me crazy…and vice versa.” He adds that he quickly appreciated their chemistry.


Playing together about once a month allows both Chris and Frank to have musical lives outside the duo.




Frank is a founding member of Among Friends, a loose collection of some of RVA’s finest acoustic musicians including Daniel Clarke, Billy Lux, Jackie Frost and George Turman. He’s also scored the music for several locally produced documentaries and video projects in his home-based studio. His first was for WCVE TV’s “Richmond Memories” in 2001. Since then, he and local PBS director Paul Roberts have gone on to win 3 regional Emmys.


When creating a score, Frank can sometimes reference video that will be used; sometimes he has to work from just a concept as for the “Kennedy Half Century” (based on the book by Larry Sabato).





Playing with good friends like Frank has been icing on the musical cake for Chris. He fronts local bluegrass band Big Boss Combo and over the years he’s played with many of Richmond’s best known and loved musicians. For 2 years he played with Billy Ray Hatley and had a long run with Page Wilson’s Reckless Abandon. Sadly both associations ended abruptly: Billy Ray was struck with dementia that literally took him off the stage and Page died suddenly and unexpectedly 4 years ago.


Even with those losses, Chris feels lucky to have had such a wide musical experience with what he calls “a great bunch of guys.”



After Page’s death the band decided to carry on in celebration of Page’s music by re-casting themselves as Recklessly Abandoned – a brilliant tongue-in-cheek tip of the hat to Page’s legacy. They don’t play often, but will be bringing their version of “Purebred American Mongrel Music” to Ashland Coffee and Tea Nov. 20th. Tickets are likely to go fast.


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