Gotta Walk With Da King

Little Freddie King

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Gotta Walk With Da King Review

by Michael G. Nastos

While Fred Martin's musical persona as Little Freddie King does run parallel to his hero Freddie King, they are not related. In terms of his guitar playing and style, he definitely stays true to that form, while singing in a grittier tone than his namesake. These performances at the ninth annual Thirsty Ear Festival in Santa Fe, NM, span the gamut of electric blues subgenres with a mellow, down-easy groove, the sound that was a signature of the authentic Freddie King. With longstanding harmonica man Bobby DiTullio, Little Freddie and his band slide through an instrumental "Kinghead Shuffle," a slow "Bus Station Blues," a boogie-down "Walking with Freddie," with minimal vocals and insistent harp, and do the bompity-bomp rhythm with guitar scratching and rooster crows during "Chicken Dance." The hideaway blues that identified Freddie King's music is clear as a bell on "Goin' Out Da Mountain" and "I Use to Be Down," songs that exemplify the laid-back, no-worries approach of easy living and past bygones put away for good. Some upbeat music is heard, but mostly it's that steady rollin', seductive groove, with only marginal scolding, harsh thoughts, or even downheartedness, that makes Little Freddie King's jam-based music stand apart from many other past and current blues artists.

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