Freddie Fry-Highway Brides
One of the cool things about writing for the Aquarian is that you get to hear a lot of really great music that doesn’t always surface within the commercial channels. New Jersey’s Freddie Fry fits right into that category with his unpretentious rock and roll sounds that might be more at home somewhere in Kentucky then down on the Jersey Shore. He isn’t plugged into the local hero squadron and prefers to roam deep within the Howard Hughes ghost-like realm. Even if you’ve bumped into Fry on the street, you probably wouldn’t recognize the man or the skill he brings to the table. While doing my research for this article, I had to resort to the Vulcan mind meld to get him to let loose with some anecdotes and stories to get his background into proper perspective for the reader.
Freddie Fry is a walking encyclopedia of hard knocks, famous friends, and the good the bad, and the ugly that makes up this industry. He’s had the outrageous fortune to back legendary players such as Otis Rush and James Cotton while his live gigging alongside credits run the heavy gamut from Elvis Costello to B.B. King and A.C. Read.
Fry is also known as the “go to guy” for guitar players, doing gear acquisition (he can find just about any guitar you want) and pre-production stints for Lenny Kravitz as well as working per diem with the illustrious Tom Petty as well as .
In between hustling six strings, he still finds the time to cut his own sides (some of it on actual Beatles sound gear) with the likes of Charles Giordano (Bruce Springsteen, Hall and Oates,) Mike Daly from Whiskeytown and Andy Burton (Ian Hunter.)
His latest release titled, Highway Brides demonstrates playing, singing and writing skills that fall squarely into the golden valley of early 1970s Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton and Gary Moore. He has the great fortune to have an immediately likeable voice with its mellow, mid ranged pleasantries and a lyrical insight that throws the same weight as the stone David smacked Goliath with. Frye isn’t a showboat on any of his music, and instead takes the “easy does it” role of director, guitarist and songwriter, leaving the spotlight to the gaggle of A-list musicians that play on his projects.
Recorded analog on two-inch tape, Highway Brides features at least three producers, including john P. Allen, Anthony Krizan (Christine Martucci, Spin Doctors) and Doug Conroy (B.B. king, Lenny Kravitz, John Spencer blues band) and a whopping eighteen cuts.
Standout highlights are the CD title track, Highway Brides, a bouncing bluegrass tinged Dylan meets Neil Young and has Cat Stevens love child adventure. The song sails along with a Woodstock feel and cheddar sharp production. The work of guitarists Fry, Sedesky and Jacobs dance in and out of Smokey Mountain melodies and water-cooled backing vocals courtesy of K. Pierce.
Where Do We Go For Love is number two on this platter and easily one of the best cuts on the cd. Guitar work by...