Kim "Fest Junkie" Welsh
Happy New Year!
I hope the new year brings you the blues only on
stage, on the radio, or on a recording!
I want to introduce you to my special friends, the
Threadheads. They are a music lovin', fest goin'
group of charitable enthusiasts who are particularly
fond of New Orleans and our Jazz Fest. They hail
from all around the world, commune on the Jazz Fest
forum www.threadheads.org and have become real-life
friends. They have donated over $150,000 to the
New Orleans Musicians Clinic, sponsored kids to
attend Jazz Fest and to receive instruments, and
have encouraged a new generation of New Orleans
musicians. They have donated many hours restoring
our city after Katrina. The most recent project
to come out of this benevolent group is Threadhead
Records. This unprecedented non-profit organization's
goal is to help finance and publicize New Orleans
musicians projects through donations and loans.
Any town known for music would be blessed to have
support to ensure the heart of their beloved city
continues to beat and I'm proud to be a part of
this group. If you're planning to come to Jazz Fest,
lurk around the Forum or join… You'll be
glad you did! Last weekend, I met with my Threadhead
friends and we went to three venues to hear musicians
who have been fortunate to have CDs produced by
Threadhead Records. Afterwards, we went to see Little
Freddie King, the monarch of the Crescent City blues
scene, perform at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street.
Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940, Fread E. Martin
a.k.a. Little Freddie King 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 was influenced by South Louisiana
blues men such as "Poka- Dot" Slim and
"Boogie" Bill Webb. Honing his guitar
chops at notorious joints like the Bucket of Blood
(which he later immortalized in song), he jammed
and gigged with Bo Diddley, Snooks Eaglin, and John
Lee Hooker, and also played bass for Freddy King
during one of his stints in New Orleans. People
began comparing the two musicians' styles, hence
Martin's nom-de-plume. While well-vested in a variety
of styles, Little Freddie sounds a lot more like
his cousin Lightnin' Hopkins - albeit after a three
day corn liquor bender! Since the 1960's, he has
been quite popular and has played every single Jazz
Fest! A Blues Trail Marker was dedicated to him
in McComb on 11/6/09.
Freddie’s music has been described as 'gut
bucket blues' and potent enough to turn George W.
Bush into the Godfather of Soul. It's THAT country
and THAT ghetto." His 2005 recording with Fat
Possum Records entitled 'You Don't Know What I Know'
contains his genius "Crackhead Joe."
Little Freddie King not only plays down and dirty
blues, he lives the blues. He presently resides
in the New Orleans Habitat Musicians Village (www.nolamusiciansvillage.org)
and has been playing the rural electric blues of
his native Mississippi in the lowest bowels of New
Orleans now-devastated Ninth Ward for over fifty
years. King and his band have a penchant for hard-hitting,
minimalist chords and lyrics, delivered by his cracked,
heavily lived-in voice. Much of King's material
has an old-style R&B feel, but he is at his
most charming when he strips it down to just guitar
and vocals as depicted on his 2008 MadeWright Records,
"Messin Around tha House" CD.
Last Saturday, Little Freddie King aka "Dr.Bonzs"
(Guitar/Vocals/Songwriter), "Wacko" Wade
Wright (Drummer/Songwriter/Producer/Recording label
owner), Anthony "Sheets" Anderson (Bass
Guitar), and Bobby "ClamBake" Louis (Harmonica)
performed several songs including Mean Little Woman
and Crack Head Joe off their new CD that will be
released by their distributor, BDC in Portland,
on February 16, 2010… just in time for Mardi
Gras. This new CD entitled "Gotta Walk with
Da King" captures his "juke joint style"
on the big festival stage. It was recorded live
at the Thirsty Ear Festival in New Mexico. His CD
release party will be held at d.b.a. Music Club
on February 6, 2010. His stage gyrations are always
appreciated by his audience (especially photographers!)
and even the white boys develop chicken legs and
dance like no one is watching!
you all at the crossroads!
Kim AKA Fest Junkie