The King of Kings
March 25, 2008 2:23 PM   Subscribe

The youngest of the three kings of blues guitar, Freddie King (The Texas Cannonball) is probably best known for his instrumental Hideaway, but what stands out in retrospect is his amazing intensity. Having grown up in Texas and then Chicago, during the 1970s he found a niche playing to mostly white audiences in supper clubs and at festivals -- what he called the Fillmore Circuit -- although he also played other more challenging venues. His music, always funky and sweaty, just got funkier and sweatier. His death in 1976, at the age of 42, took him at his prime.
posted by unSane (9 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I thought he was more famous for "Tore Down"...but I couldn't find a YouTube link for that one.
posted by rocket88 at 2:55 PM on March 25, 2008

I saw one of Freddie King's last performances at the 1975 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. I had never heard of him before. What a surprise. At a music festival with the greats including Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Johnny Winter, Junior Walker, Freddie King more than held his own. It was the best blues performance that I'd ever seen.
posted by worbid411 at 3:12 PM on March 25, 2008

Always loved Freddie King...his style always spoke to me. Broke out some old stuff, listening to his version of Stormy Monday right now. Great post!!!
posted by rhythim at 3:36 PM on March 25, 2008

worbid411, nothing personal but I now hate you. '75 I was cooling my heels in West Bumfucke, North Dakota.

Poor Freddy, he should be still playing, or at least enjoying retirement. Or at least to have lived to experience the blues resurgence in the 80s.
posted by Ber at 4:46 PM on March 25, 2008

Loving this. There's also this undertitled post from last fall, contrasting King with Clapton... with more youtubery of King, including his spectacularly wide collar.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:40 PM on March 25, 2008

Thanks. I managed to keep the Clapton snark out of the post. He was really f'n good to Freddie in the latter days.

I think what I like most about Freddie (and Albert, and BB) is that they were listening to what they were playing. There's really not much pattern playing in there at all. When you watch Freddie, it's really clear that he's essentially speaking with the guitar. It's his voice, not his fingers. Same with Albert. Not quite so much (for me) with BB. Not much with Eric, although I do dig the Cream Crossroads solo.
posted by unSane at 5:52 PM on March 25, 2008

Bass player from the amazing intensity link: bad ass.
posted by mexican at 6:32 PM on March 25, 2008

Freddie King copied Hideaway from Hound Dog Taylor:
posted by trigfunctions at 6:35 PM on March 25, 2008

love me some Freddie. gotta recommend 'the stumble', stuck at work or i'd try to find a link. Mayall's Bluesbreakers did a cool version when Peter Green was in the band, but the original kicks ass. thanks unSane!
posted by aquanaut at 12:10 PM on March 26, 2008

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