Little Freddie King, Chasing tha Blues (MadeWright Records)

Little Freddie King, Chasing tha Blues (MadeWright Records)

While Chasing tha Blues gets off to a promising start, it begins to lose steam well before the conclusion of the chase. King is New Orleans’ resident free-form country bluesman, and when not on the bandstand he can often be seen riding his bicycle through the Quarter and the Marigny. His style will never be confused with the original Freddie King, but he’s a very agreeable fellow and his music is quite enjoyable in moderation.

The opener, “Born Dead,” reprises a song he originally waxed with Newton Greer in 1970 for the short-lived Ahura Mazda label. It deals with the disadvantages of being born in the Magnolia State (King hails from McComb, Mississippi) and he sells the tale with emotion. “Crackho Flo” captures a groove and would actually be quite funny if the lyrics (as they especially pertain to New Orleans) weren’t so sadly accurate. “Louisiana Train Wreck” has one chord and a groove, and King’s at home with this simple accompaniment.

The chase begins to waver on the meandering slow blues “Got the Blues on My Back.” One minute Freddie’s singing about rocking at the d.b.a., and the next he’s complaining about Chinese drywall and cotton sacks. “Pocket Full of Money” rocks along nicely, but it’s a refried version of Slim Harpo’s “I’m A King Bee” with a couple phrases changed. “Back in New Orleans” is a lazy blues with an attractive back porch feel. There are a couple instrumentals in the mix and while they’re not disagreeable, they’re long-winded, like much of the album. Still, King’s got a large, local following that will overlook a few perceived flaws and dig on the many high points.

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