To folk, rock and blues musicians, Freebo is an icon. During a 30-year career, he provided the solid bass foundation for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, Ringo Starr, Maria Muldaur, Neil Young and many other top names in blues and pop music As an in-demand bassest on stage and studio, he appeared on Saturday Night Live, Midnight Special, Muppets Tonight, and in concert with Spinal Tap. Over the last two decades, Freebo has also been reinventing himself as a compelling singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is now out front, giving inspiring and intimate concerts of songs that speak to the spiritual nature and yearnings of humanity.
Freebo will be making his third appearance at Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, October 24, at 7 pm, and will give a workshop the next day for guitar players and songwriters. Freebo leads a regular song-writing workshop in Bakersfield. He and his wife, Laurie, now make their home in California Hot Springs, in the foothills of the Southern Sierras.
Freebo says of his metamorphosis, “I never had any aspirations to be a songwriter,” but as I played with more and more people, I realized I had a lot of musical ideas, and as a bass player, I really couldn’t get them into the music. I finally realized that if I wanted to get these ideas out, the song was the place to do that.”
This yearning for more creative expression drove Freebo to begin a process of “deep inner discovery” and make the conscious decision to tackle the challenges of songwriting in middle age, at the height of his career. Now, more than 20 years later, he says that this creative process has taken him to “a much higher level as a human being.”
Perhaps it’s because he came to songwriting later in life that most of Freebo’s lyrics have a deep spiritual resonance. He sings about such things as the “inner angel” that guides him, about the end of a life well lived deserving “a standing ovation.” Audiences as Fiddlers Crossing have already given Freebo standing ovations.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at fiddlerscrossing.org, or at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30p.m.
The workshop will run from 10 am to 1 p.m. and cost $35. Freebo calls it, “Singer/songwriter 202 – right hand and left hand guitar techniques and shortcuts.” The workshop is aimed particularly at singers who accompany themselves on guitar, as well as songwriters and guitarists in general.
Special combo deal: concert and workshop, only $40.00! Call to take advantage of this. (661)-823-9994.
Freebo’s bio is best stated by several writers who have reviewed his most recent CD, the aptly named “Something To Believe”….
PAUL ZOLLO, Songwriters On Songwriting: “Freebo is more than a beloved musician, he’s an institution. Most famous for the funkified precision and fluid soul of his bass playing for Bonnie Raitt, he’s also a longtime beloved studio cat, a musician’s musician, sought out for his greatness in the studio by everyone from Ringo and Dr. John to CSN, Joe Walsh, Aaron Neville, Maria Muldaur and the late great Willie DeVille. But Freebo is more than one of LA’s best players, as those in the know have known for a long time: he’s also a richly gifted and distinctive songwriter, as expressive in his writing as on a bass. If anyone has written a more poignant song about homelessness than “When There’s No Place Like Home”, I haven’t heard it yet. Because it’s aiming high, to write a song about a subject so hopeless without being hopelessly maudlin or cliché, so most songwriters don’t even try. Freebo does it with easy grace, as simple and right as the beautifully understated arrangement. It’s a song of kindred spirit, and it’s a remarkable amalgam of influences, as if Harold Arlen collaborated with Pete Seeger, a timelessly tuneful chorus with lyric of folk wisdom and compassion.”
Walt Falconer, CoolAlbumOfTheDay.com: “Listening to Freebo is like riding on a cumulus cloud of peaceful awareness. His songs are at once uplifting, while also serving as mini socio-economic history lessons interspersed with beautifully spiritual melodic love songs in his own cosmic blend of country/blues/folk/rock/soul ear-pleasing genre defying music”.
Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville: “Freebo’s intimate and go-down-easy personable vocals can tie in light-hearted fare, social commentary, and spiritual quest with love-sweet-love, and make it sound seamless”.
Russ Paris, Folkworks.org: “Standing Ovation is an astounding song which encompasses a profound view of life. It is destined to become a classic”.
Come see Freebo for yourself, and listen to this Folk/Rock/Blues legend and award winning singer/songwriter. You won’t be disappointed…and please, feel free to write your own review!