Little Freddie King
Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940, Fred E. Martin 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 crossed paths with itinerant South Louisiana blues man such as “Poka- Dot” Slim and “Boogie” Bill Webb whose unique country-cum-urban styles would influence his own. Honing his guitar chops at notorious joints like the Bucket of Blood (which he later immoralized in song), he jammed and gigged with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, and also played bass for Freddy King during one of the guitarist’s stints in New Orleans. People began comparing the two musicians’ styles, hence Martin’s nome-de-plume. While well-vested in a variety of styles, nowadays Little Freddie sounds a lot more like his cousin Lightin’ Hopkins – albeit after a three day corn liquor bender! Nevertheless, the King sobriquet if fitting, as Freddie is undeniably the monarch of the Crescent City blues scene.”One of the last great country blues players, Little Freddie King…lives the blues. He stays in a rundown apartment, in a deteriorating neighborhood, with a domineering wife. He rides a rickety bicycle to and from a downtown, where he rebuilds alternators. He is tormented by ulcers and headaches, but playing his cheap pawn shop guitar makes him feel a little better at the end of the day.” Jeff Hannusch – Offbeat MagazineShare
Featured on the HBO Series Treme – Mean Little Woman
This record swings from the get-go. From Little Freddie King’s first thumb-strummed rhythm to his deep pocket leads. Subtle, yet deep reaching. King locks into the pulse in that irresistible fashion it seems musicians only learn from spending years in New Orleans
Debra DeSalvo, Blues Access ’96
Sing Sang Sung
Captures the spirit of one of those magical nights when LFK emerges from his daytime life as an electrician and takes his act to the stage, delighting the legion of New Orleans blues scholars…LFK deserves a place at the same table with the artists associated with Fat Possum Records
Bill Taylor, Blues Access 2000
Rough and ready, Little Freddie King creates raw urban blues with a gritty sprit that is the authentic thing. You can hear it as his guitar and the harmonica of DiTullio animate driving instrumentals like “Bad Chicken” and the title track. You can hear it as he re-creates songs by John Lee Hooker (Hobo Blues), Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins (Rocky Mountain) and B.B. King (Three O’Clock Blues) as his own. You can hear it in his original “Bucket of Blood”, a spoken word performance piece that confirms the authentic poetry of the blues. It’s apt that this compelling live set was recorded in New Orleans, because here is music that will enthrall the urban blues fan. Sing Sang Sung is highly recommended.
David Lewis, Cadence Magazine, August 2000
Freddie reorded SSS at the Dream Palace and you can hear every sweet twang of Little Freddie’s guitar as if you were sitting at the bar with a drink in your hand. Bobby Lewis blows a sweet harmonica and the rest of the band backs Freddie without ever getting in the way.
MC PressFlesh, Where Y’at, May 2000
You have to love a guy who puts his life out there for the world to chew on, especially if he’s a Bluesman, and Little Freddie King, hailed on the jewel case as ‘one of the last great country-blues players’, is certainly that…King’s fantastically sleazy pawn-shop leads drip all over songs like cheap grease and cigar smoke.
Robert Fontenot, Offbeat Magazine