CHARTER MEMBER OF NOFJ & FQF
JUKE BLUES from NEW ORLEANS
LITTLE FREDDIE KING BluesMaster -
(LA.MUSIC HALL of FAME - 2010):
If you want the real blues - and I'm not talkin about some long-haired hippy beatin' on a National Resonator guitar or a mustachiod, Italian-suited slickster blowin' on a chromatic harmonica - baby, you'd better call Little Freddie King, Normally only seen once a month at BJ's Lounge located in the lowest bowels of the mighty Ninth Ward, where he shares floor space with a pool table and various carpet remnants, don't think for a second that his band won't be able to create the proper mood without their usual scrappy surroundings. The minute Freddie straps on his guitar and strikes up his gnarled chord and drummer "Wacko" Wade makes his presence known with a definative cymbal crash, this lean, mean, swampy aggregation of gut-bucket wild men transforms the poshest of venues into a back-of-town beer joint.
Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940, Fread E. Martin grew up playing alongside his blues guitar-picking father (Jessie James Martin), then rode the rails to New Orleans during the early fifties where he crossed paths with itinerant South Louisiana blues man such as "Poka- Dot" Slim and "Boogie" Bill Webb whose unique country-cum-urban styles would influence his own. Honing his guitar chops at notorious joints like the Bucket of Blood (which he later immoralized in song), he jammed and gigged with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, and also played bass for Freddy King during one of the guitarist's stints in New Orleans. People began comparing the two musicians' styles, hence Martin's nome-de-plume. While well-vested in a variety of styles, nowadays Little Freddie sounds a lot more like his cousin Lightin' Hopkins - albeit after a three day corn liquor bender! Nevertheless, the King sobriquet if fitting, as Freddie is undeniably the monarch of the Crescent City blues scene.
Freddie's mid-sixties recording debut - an unreleased session for Booker/Invicta Records - is one that will seemingly live forever in blues infamy. The very same notorious basement set-up that released so many killer discs by gospel guitar-slinger the Reverend Charlie Jackson - as well as below-the-radar classics by the Zion Harmonizers, the Rocks of Harmony and Sister Alberta - the pairing of label and artist could hardly have been more perfect. If the lost tape is ever discovered, it'll be a watershed day in musicial history, so start digging!!
Slightly easier to find, but occasionally almost as elusive, is Freddie's actual debut, a 1971 LP on New Orleans' Ahura Mazda Records on which he shared billing with his band mate John S. "Harmonica" Williams, Unofficially titled Rock and Roll Blues, the nine original songs that make up the LP are raw, gut-wrenching and filled with passion. "Born Dead" is an unbelievable survey of racism in Mississippi courtesy of vocalist Newton Greer, while Williams and King are featured strongly throughout. Freddie contributes two rocking instrumentals, "Sideways" and "The Kings' Special." While it was a milestone in New Orleans blues, the album's potent nastiness went under appreciated at the time. Leave it to Little Freddie to resurface 36 years later with Swamp Boogie - Orleans Records, an album of purely original material (notable titles are "The Great Chinese" and "Cat Squall Blues") that features the likes of Earl "Pass the Hatchet" Stanley on bass!
He followed it in 2000 with Sing Sang Sung, a greasy live set that documented more New Orleans street poetry like "Bad Chicken" and the aforementioned "Bucket of Blood".
Reviewing Sing Sang Sung for Offbeat Magazine. Local blues writer Robert Fontenot captured the Little Freddie phenomena perfectly; "It ain't pretty...you can practically smell the Chinese food and chicken coming from Chun King...the slop bucket wheeze put out on his cover of King Curtis's "Soul Twist" is potent enough to turn George W. Bush into the Godfather of Soul. It's is THAT country and THAT ghetto." And that's about all you need to know, except that Freddie last recording was in 2005 with Fat Possum Records and this cd entitled You Don't Know What I Know received #1 record on Red Licks blues listing in England as top blues album of 2006 which contains his genius "Crackhead Joe". Messin' Around tha House, His 2008 release (MadeWright Records) is a fusion of blues with a couple of hypnoic hip-hop tunes that shows his willingness to expand his blues horizon. This cd is a must for KingHead fans and has surpass his excellent 2005 FP release. Going "Live" is very difficult to capture by a sound crew, but Gotta Walk with Da King (MadeWright Records-2010) nailed the real juke joint sound on a large Festival Stage. We've said it before and we'll say it again" Little Freddie King not only plays the blues, he lives the blues. Now in 2012, his new release entitled Chasing tha Blues, a collection of new songs pretaining to his struggles with a woman and a storm named after a woman - "Katrina"
Submitted by Dr. Ira Padnos, musicologist
International Recording Artist:
"Rock 'n' Roll Blues" Harmonica Williams & Little
Freddie King (1970) Ahura Mazda Records
"Swamp Boogie" (1997) Orleans Records
"Sing Sang Sung" (2000) Orleans Records
"You Don't Know What I Know" (2005) Fat Possum Records
"Messin' Around tha House" (2008) MadeWright Record
"Gotta Walk With da King" (2010) MadeWright Record
"Chasing tha Blues" ( 2012) MadeWright Record
" Livin the Blues" (2011) APO Records - 33-1/3 vinyl
" Little Freddie King blues band - Live at N.O. Jazzfest"
(2011, 12, 13) MunckMix, Inc.
" Messin' Around tha Living Room" (2015) MadeWright Record
" You Make My Night" (2017) MadeWright Record
"Absolutely tha Best" (2019) MadeWright Record
"Jaw Jackin' Blues" (2020) MadeWright Record
vinyl or cd available
Eh La Bas! - WWOZ Critics Choice - Orleans Records
Dream Place Live Vol. 11 - Frenchman St. Records
Same Old Blues Crap 3 - Fat Possum Records
Blues Estafette (2003) - Jaap Hindriks (Holland)
Blues to Bop (2002) - Norman Hewitt (Switzerland)
After Hours Live - Libra at Ogden Museum (New Orleans)
Lucerne Blues Festival - Martin Bruendier (Switzerland)
Thirsty Ear Festival - C. Borton (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
City Life Compliation (2005) - Stewart Gararas (New Orleans)"In
Castel San Pietro "In Blues" (2006) - (Bologna, ITALY)
A New Orleans Musicians' Village Compilation (2010) (N.O)
Louisiana Stomp - (2010) Paul McCarthy, producer
Louisiana Legends (2012) Garth Cartwright for "Songlines" (UK)
Bar-B-Q 'N' the Blues (2012) Big City Blues Magazine
FILM / BROADCASTING FRIEND
WWOZ FM-97.5 New Orleans, La. Andrew Grafe, blues programer
KOTO FM, Telluride, Co.
KOOP 91.7FM, Austin - "A Blues Groove" Ted Branson
Mojo Station Rome, Italy - Gianiuca and Moroncelli
Wide World of Blues - Peter Black, Boston
Film Documentary - Japan PBS-TV "The Last Bluesman"
? Kazuyuki Nozawa, Dir.
World Wide Broadcasting - internet with Josh Buckley, Settle, Wash.
Canadian TV Documentary - "King of the New Orleans Blues" Jacques Thivierge
BBC-TV Doumentary - "Little Freddie" Alan Howarth
ABC-TV - Peter Jennings segment on Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Route 66 RDL 103.5fm - David Baerst (France)
KSP Q94 Blues Man - Robert Pendergrass
KCFX-FM Blues Show - Lindsay Shannon
WRPI 91.5fm Stomy Monday Blues - Steve Daub
KAJX Aspen Public Radio - Blue Horizon - Cheryl Koehne
XM Radio Satellite - Bill Wax
AUA 102.7fm Bluesmente Falando - Hernani Nasimento
WWOZ 90.7fm - David Friedman
WATD 95.9fm - Wide World of Blues, Peter Black
Joe Kelly and Gi Dussault - Upper Room - Bridgeport, CT.
WYEP 91.3fm - Bumble Bee Slim - Howard Kozy, Pittsburg
Fox Business - Musicians Village - Peter Barnes, NY
USA TODAY - N.O. Artist - Edna Gundersen, L.A.
City Business- Sound Check - Richard Webster, N.O.
The Taos News - Gut Bucket Music - Rima Ralff, N.M.
Sundance Channel - Architect School TV Series
Southwest Stages Radio Simulcast on
KSFR 101.FM - Public radio - Santa Fe, New Mex.
KUNM 89.9 FM - Public radio - Albuquerque, NM.
Detroit Daily Tribune - Royal Visit - Joe Ballor
Big City Blues Mag. - Detroit, Mich. - Robert Jr.
WWOZ 90.7fm - Boardcast "Boogaloo Fest."- Tom Morgan
LifeStyle TV - Latin America, Argentina Mandarina Production
Blues Estafette (2003) - Jaap Hindriks (Holland)
Radio ELdorado FM 92.9 - Rose (San Paulo, Brazil)
WWOZ Radio FM 90.7 - Andrew 2-4 Mon. (New Orleans)
WTUL Radio Fm 91.5 - Kyle 4-6 (New Orleans)
Public Radio (2010) "Still Singing the Blues" - Yeoman/Ziglar
American Routes Radio - Nick Spitzer, producer (Sep 2010)
WWOZ Radio FM 90.7 - Black Mold 11-2 Fri. (New Orleans)
La. Music Hall of Fame - presented at Rock n Bowl (Oct 2010)
Lift Time Achievement for Blues Performer - Voodoo Blues Society of N.O. presented by James Hines (2010)
Tulane University - Honorarium - Dean MacLaren. (New Orleans)
"Treme" - HBO TV series, performance and sound track-
The Hairy Bikers - BBC-TV series, performance and interview with Si and Dave, two super dudes that ride the Big "H".
Perservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversay, special guest 5
May 12 Joy Theater during Jazzfess week.
"Treme" - HBO TV series, guest with Khandi Alexander
WWOZ Radio - with Andrew Grafe "The blues man" to promo
"Chasing tha Blues" 2012 release.
Nikon Camera - promotional shoot, lengardary photographer Joe McNally, and Lynn DelMastro
Tulane U. Honrarium, - moderator: Prof. Joel DinerStein. 2012.
TV Malaga, Spain, guest artist - interviewer: Kate 2013.
Louisiana Ambassador Award 2013 by Jay Dardanne, Lt.Gov.
Festival International de Jazz, Montreal, Canada - 5 July 2014
RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, Ottawa, Canada - 13 July, 2014
TV Series "NCIS - NEW ORLEANS" - filming - Aug. 2014
The Advocate Newspaper - 75 years a Bluesman - 27 Mar 2015
Pick-a-thron Festival - Happy Valley, OR. - 2015
Bogalusa Blues Festival - Bogalusa, La. - Sept 2015
Crescent City BBQ Fest. - New Orleans - Oct 2015
Jazz in the Park Series - Armstronge Park, N.O. Oct 2015
Historic N.O. Collection - WWNO interview -13 Nov 2015
New Orleans Jazz & heritege Fess - May 2016
French Quarter Fess - April 2016
Crescent City BBQ Fest - New Orleans, Oct 2016
Umbria Jazz Winter #26, Orvieto, Italy Dec 26 to Jan 2, 18
Jo Soares Talk Show - Live TV, San Paulo, Brazil Aug 06
Con De Nest Traveler Mag. photos by Bridget Lacombe, Jun 14
New York Times, "Blues Musicians..." by Andrew Jacobs Mar 04