Freddie King

From Gilmer, like our girl, Freddie King was closer in age to the rock’n’roll generation than most of the other bluesmen who crossed over in the 1960s, and his stinging tone and fierce attack were wildly influential among rock guitar players. If he was vastly under-rated as a singer, it’s probably because he was one of the most instantly indentifiable blues guitar stylists ever, with finger-picking that’s as East Texas as Nacogdoches, as brisket barbecue served up on brown paper. His label would package his instrumentals into albums (which included covers of western swing tunes and whatever else felt danceable and right, as is the East Texas way) according to this month’s pop culture craze, whether it was western TV shows or, unforgettably, “Freddie King Goes Surfin’.” Blues purists have always been a lot more concerned about this than Freddie King ever was, but hey, there a price to be paid for being pure. Freddie King was from East Texas. Purity wasn’t the issue. Getting a good groove on was.

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