Albums like the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner Freddie Vanderford’s Greasy Greens make me proud to reside in the same ZIP code as the Piedmont Blues man. He has been conserving this local style of the blues for a few decades now with the blessings of local legend (now deceased) Peg Leg Sam. This is the first solo disc for Freddie on Circle X records, and it is chock full of local soulful musicians. The multi-talented Brandon Turner not only co-produced the project but also musically littered the album playing everything from lead guitar and steel guitar to bongos. Did backing vocals, too.
“She Can Cook Good Sallett ,” a traditional Piedmont blues song, kicks off the album with Freddie’s razor sharp harmonica skills. The album is a history lesson in and of itself, a majority of the track list comprised of traditional Piedmont blues songs. There are also a few classic cover songs such as Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner Blues” and the Hank Williams “Half as Much,” featuring the vocal harmonies of Emmylou Harris’s soul sister Mrs. Faysouxx McLean. After listening to the whole album, you gain an insight to the soul that has been instilled in the man who is rarely seen with his shades off. I also got the loneliness experience of his mentor Peg Leg Sam in all of his heartache. The ingredients of Greasy Greens leave you with a delicious taste of local historical flavors that are what honest blue collared (no pun intended) music is all about. Peg Leg is gazing down from the heavens and crowing with delight for the legacy of the Piedmont Blues is alive and well.
~ Jason Robinson
Jason Wallace Robinson hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He’s a writer, storyteller, philosopher, single father raising two children, music lover, dreamer, joker. He writes to speak for the Common Man. He enjoys football and driving around in his ’96 Chevy Lumina adorned with an American Flag and decorative bird offerings.
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