Trying To Get To You

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Magic Of Freddie King

Yesterday I got a wonderful Freddie King (no relationship to B.B. or Albert King) radio show from Dallas in 1975, roughly 18 months before his death at the age of 42. For those of you unfamiliar with Freddie, he was one of the seminal bluesmen of his generation; his influence on musicians, from Eric Clapton and Leon Russell to Led Zeppelin and Keith Richards was vast. (You can particularly hear his influence in Clapton’s playing.) (Read Freddie’s bio here.)

For me, Freddie’s music transformed my relationship to the blues, a form that for whatever reason had begun to occur for me as a cliché. But the second I heard “Help Me Make It Through The Day” (written by Leon Russell and linked below), I fell in love, and it rekindled my love of blues. In Freddie’s playing and singing you can hear the sense of loss that is at the heart of the blues, but you also hear an incredible swagger – all with a big, warm hearted smile. Freddie played big – his love of poker is immortalized in Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band," (he cleaned Grand Funk out) and although he didn’t live a long time, he lived while he did. He was, and remains, an American treasure.

Buy Freddie King at Amazon

Download: “Help Me Make It Through The Day” (produced and written by Leon Russell)
Download: “Goin’ Down” 3/31/75, Dallas, TX
Download: “Big Legged Woman” 3/31/75, Dallas, TX
Download: “Early One Morning” 3/31/75, Dallas, TX
Download: “What’d I Say”


Anonymous said...

I've been on a Freddie King kick this past week as well. "Woman across the River", "the Boogie Man" and many more. His gtr tone and voice were unmatched in the blues IMO. It's what made me understand the blues as well. It's not nice, it's not safe, it's the blues.
I found this clip:

Anonymous said...

wow, thanks for these cuts, and your "eulogy" for freddie. i haven't heard these, but that'll change in a few minutes. quite simply, there's a lot of great blues players out there, even some great "kings" (Albert, BB) but there is no one better than Freddie.

If you want to send a few more of this Freddie King treasure trove our way, by all means...

thansk again!