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MP3 Jake Speed & the Freddies - Sluggers

Traditional Folk, Country Blues, and Bluegrass.

3 MP3 Songs in this album (8:29) !
Related styles: KIDS/FAMILY: Children''s Storytelling, FOLK: Folk Blues

People who are interested in Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Mississippi John Hurt should consider this download.

For the past nine years, Jake Speed has hitchhiked down Cincinnati’s American folk, bluegrass, and country blues music highway with his award-winning band, The Freddies. Jake Speed & the Freddies are a four-piece band made out of guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, and upright bass (plus harmonica, kazoo, washboard, and watering can). Their traditional and original songs leap right out of Depression-era freight trains and into Ohio River steamboats. Their near-vaudeville style stage shows and quick-witted charisma rope in loyal fans of new and old generations alike.

The Freddies’ traditionalist approach to the old timey music style has won them the respect of fellow musicians, music lovers, and critics. CityBeat writer Ezra Waller says, "Jake Speed is a fixture of Cincinnati''s traditional Folk scene.” Cincinnati Post’s Rick Bird says, " Jake Speed…has quickly become the Queen City''s favorite troubadour.” The readers of CityBeat Magazine voted them Best Local Musicians in 2004, and the listeners of WNKU FM 89.7 voted The Freddies’ third album, Huzzah!, #77 of their Top 89 Albums of 2004. The band is a five-time winner of the Cincinnati Entertainment Award (2001-2004; 2008) for Best Folk Musicians. Jake Speed is a two-time winner of the CEA for Best Singer/Songwriter (2002, 2006). Their winning of the 2002 CEA for Artist of the Year, and 2003 winning of Best Folk Vocalist and Best Folk Band at the CAMMYs (Cincinnati Area Music Awards) puts them on the definitive road of folk music in Cincinnati.

The Freddies’ travels aboard the Cincinnati music scene have landed them many high profile shows, including an appearance on Garrison Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. They’ve played opening sets for national acts such as Ralph Stanley, Asleep At The Wheel,Yonder Mountain String Band, Chris Hillman of The Byrds, Over-the-Rhine, Hot Buttered Rum, and Jay Bennett (from the band, Wilco). Their monthly gigs at Arnold''s and Northside Tavern have laid the tracks for a solid following of fans.

The musical conductors aboard the Freddies include Jake Speed, Kentucky Graham, Justin Todhunter, and Chris Werner. Jake sings, picks guitar, blows harmonica, buzzes kazoo, and kicks the beat on the washboard. Kentucky Graham plinkety plunks on the old tenor guitar. Justin Todhunter strums and picks on the tiniest of little old mandolins. Chris Werner pounds and thumps on the upright bass. Jake Speed & the Freddies make up boxcars full of original Cincinnati songs while reviving the music of legends like Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Elizabeth Cotten, and Jesse Fuller. The Freddies were born on the streets of Cincinnati where they performed their songs for tips and continue to believe "If you ain''t good enough for the street corner, what are you good for?"

The Story of the Fabled Meeting of Loren Long & Jake Speed
by: Jake Speed

I met Loren Long on a long shot. On a still Cincinnati night, my wife and I slipped into a downtown baseball card shop in search of a George Foster card to complete my ’75 Big Red Machine collection. The shop didn’t have that card, but they did have an old-timey illustration of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings hanging on the wall like a blessing. The forlorn look of the poster’s foremost ballplayer captured me like a 6th-grade staring contest. I had to have that poster. I had to hang it in my room. However, the poster read “Not For Sale,” and this shop didn’t have a back room with extra copies. My wife and I left the store empty-hearted and empty-handed.
Three months later, on the cusp of Opening Day, my wife eagerly asked me to open my birthday present. As I tore through the paper like a kid opening his first pack of baseball cards, I couldn’t believe my eyes – my very own copy of that 1869 Red Stockings poster I’d last seen collecting dust in the old card shop. My wife, Sarah, had hit a home run with this present, but how’d she do it? I thought they were sold out. I thought it was “Not For Sale!” That’s when she smiled big and told me that Loren Long, the poster’s illustrator, actually lived in Cincinnati. He’d helped her find an old copy of the poster, and he even signed it “To Jake…Huzzah Always!”
A few months later, my wife and I attended one of Loren Long’s art exhibits at the Cincinnati Art Academy. As we toured the gallery, we suddenly realized that the paintings on the walls all appeared in many of the children’s books we’d been giving to our nieces and nephews for years! There we stood in front of original works from “Mr. Peabody’s Apples,” “I Dream of Trains,” and “The Day the Animals Came,” all books that we’d adored, but never realized were created by the same great artist. I just had to meet this fella.
After waiting in line, I finally got to shake hands with Loren and thank him for helping make my birthday so memorable. As a sign of appreciation, I presented him a copy of my folk music album, The Cincinnati Legends of Jeremiah Schmidt, and suggested that he might enjoy the song I wrote about the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings called “Huzzah for the Red Stockings.” (As you may know, he played for a vintage baseball team called the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. It was at one of their games that I was inspired to write that song.) Since Fate seemed to have urged our meeting, I offered him my songwriting services if he ever wanted a tune written about a character from one of his books. Little did I know, Loren already had the perfect pitch for me with Sluggers.
When the Sluggers series began to take shape a few years ago, Loren finally took me up on my songwriting offer. After one meeting at a Waffle House halfway between Nowhere and Whatsitsville, Loren revealed the tale of the Travelin’ Nine. He wove a magical tale of adventure, mystery, and best of all, baseball. As he rattled through the storyline, I vigorously took notes, writing down possible song titles and ideas. By the time I arrived home, I already had the first chorus to “Graham Slam” composed in my mind. After finishing that song, I went to work on “Travelin’ Nine” by laying out the sketches Loren gave me of each player on my office floor in their respective positions. Finally, after thinking about my own childhood memories of “catch” with my father, I thought of Graham and wrote “Called Up.”
Our collaboration, which started as a long shot, has finally hit the ground running in these three songs. Sing them anytime, especially during a backyard game of toss.

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