Saturday, August 21, 2010

Freddie Hughes - Sarah Mae

Mellow Saturday Morning soul.

That's what I'm feeling like right now.

That's exactly the mood I was put in when I first discovered this bay area soul 45. It's a tragic sounding story with Freddie pleading for her to come back home, definitely 'tear-stained' soul if I ever heard it. The backdrop is simple tight drums, a complex bass line, a nice piano melody and trickled with light synth. It's a masterful combination and had me hooked right from the beginning. I find it highly unlikely that this tune was much of a commercial success, but the bay area has always been diverse, so I know it had to get 'some' local radio play. Nonetheless, its a truly sincere tune that a few soul fans keep close to the chest. And, probably heralded and enjoyed now much more than then.
Freddie Hughes was closely aligned with the local blues scene here in Oakland, and I remember seeing him, and his name spattered throughout Oakland blues posters. I grew up mostly in Oakland, and since my brother was already playing bass in this circuit I had a great angle of insight. I remember seeing Freddie Hughes live somewhere and telling all my mod and soul loving friends that it was the most incredible man I had ever seen before. I told them that in his slick burgundy suit and with his captivating performance style it was the closest thing I could imagine to seeing Otis Redding. But, even better.. Freddie is drenched in good ole' Bay Area Blues, Soul and Funk. To this day, his version of "Take Me To The River" is smoking hot.

Freddie is a legend in his own right. He made absolutely beautiful soul records including his first LP 'Send My Baby Back' on the Wand label. He's not to be confused (which does happen-even I'm guilty of it at one time) with Fred Hughes of Brunswick fame. This is not the Fred of 'Oh Wee Babe' fame..yet, his caliber is the same or better. Freddie was born in Berkeley, and still performs here locally today. Oddly they had a performance yesterday at Berkeley's famous Cheese Board. AND, a performance tonight in Oakland at The Warehouse Bar & Grill. I highly recommend seeing Freddie Hughes in any capacity. Although I have not seen or heard his new band "Kickin' The Mule", I think it is NOT to be missed. Real talk folks.
Check the schedule here.

One listen to "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You" and you'll know what you need to do...SEE THIS MAN. But, then it gets even deeper with "Do My Thing".... Are you convinced yet??

Support the cats that are still around and still 'doing their thing'!!
If you live in this area, you should really try to see him. Makes sense right?
I'm glad to share this super bluesy deep soulful "Sarah Mae" track, and even happier to spread the gospel of 'Freddie Hughes'

Freddie Hughes - Sarah Mae