Freddy King

 

Of the three Kings of the Blues, B.B. King, Albert King and Freddy King (none of whom are related, of course), Freddy was the most eloquent and accomplished guitarist; he was known as the Texas Cannonball. Freddy’s vocal was perhaps not as convincing as that of B.B. King, but when it comes to guitar virtuosity, Freddy came out on top. Freddy’s playing was fluent, tasty and melodic. His instrumentals Hideaway, San Ho Zay have long become Blues standards. Literally everyone from Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan learned from him. Other famous hits inclduedHave You Ever Loved Another Woman, and Tore Down.

Freddy King was born in Texas in 1934 and he and his family moved to Chicago in 1950 when Freddy King was 16 years old. In Chicago Freddy started as part-time musician and sideman, providing backing to players like Magic Sam and Luther Allison before playing music full time. Freddy never had much Delta roots in his music, not surprising when you consider the fact that he was born and raised in Texas during his teens and bearing in mind the regional differences of the Blues. In 1961 his instrumental Hideaway reached the pop charts and remained there for over 10 weeks.

Just Pickin’ is a collection of the instrumental tracks of Freedy King. This collection is really an encyclopedia for Blues licks. All the flashy stuff from Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page all came from here; this is where it all started. Freddy had tremendous influence on latter guitar players. Freddy King had never really made a bad record. Just Pickin’ is available under Modern Blues serial number MBXL-CD-721. This may not be an easy CD to find, but it is well worth the effort to try and get it.

There are two Freddie King recordings I recommend, one is Freddie King Texas Cannonball Live At The Texas Opry House and the other is a compilation Freddie King (1924-1976). As a matter of fact, I don't think Freddie had ever made a bad record. If you like Blues guitar, you won't be disappointed with Freddie. Whereas Albert King is kind of subtle and B.B. King is sometimes too classy, Freddie is way upfront, no nonesense singing and heavy Blues guitar.

 

Live At The Texas Opry House

Freddie King (1934-1976)