Freddie Roulette coaxes all manner of sweet, funky feeling out of his doubleneck lap steel guitar on the track “Joaquin” from his debut solo album:
Freddie Roulette (1973)
Steel Guitar: Freddie Roulette
Bass, Acoustic Guitar: Victor Conte
Drums: Paul Lagos
Guitar: Coleman Head
Saxophone: Richard Aplanap
Mixed by Fred Breitberg
Produced by Harvey Mandel
Recorded by Baker Bigsby
(image courtesy of Discogs)
Billboard included this album as an “Also Recommended” pick (under ‘jazz’) in its September 29, 1973 issue with these words of praise:
Title is a perfect description of a truly charming, contemporary jazz-blues session on talking steel guitar. Best cut: “Smoked Fish“
How fascinating (and sad) that Freddie Roulette would release his groundbreaking Sweet Funky Steel album in 1973 — and then issue no other recordings for over 20 years. One gets the sense that this album may have been a bit ahead of its time and had to wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
With the release of Psychedelic Guitar Circus – with Henry Kaiser, Steve Kimmock & Harvey Mandel (1994), Back in Chicago – with Willy Kent & the Gents (1996), Spirit of Steel (1999), Man of Steel – which includes “Surfing” by Ernest Ranglin (2006) and Jamming with Friends (2012), it would seem that the artist and his audience have, at last, found each other.
Photos of esteemed “guitar client” Freddie Roulette can be found at Berkeley’s renowned Subway Guitars.