I Got The Blues
Freddie Pate grew up in Los Angeles and learned guitar while still a child. As a youngster he played with some of Country Music’s greatest including Buck Owens, Johnny Paycheck, Lefty Frizzell, and Merle Haggard. In 1974 he moved to Texas where he played both as a sideman and as a bandleader. He often opened for Ronny Milsap, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Johnny Cash and others at clubs like Gilley’s in Pasadena, TX.
In 1990 Pate moved to Louisiana where he worked with Wayne Toups & Zydecajun and he appears on their 1991 album “Fish Out of Water” on Mercury Records. Pate’s last album was 2015’s “Crossroads” on his own Independent label. In support of that album Pate wound up playing some of Houston’s best blues clubs and found himself welcome by the local Blues community.
Pate met co-producer Mike Zito while on Delbert McClinton’s Sunny Beaches Cruise. The band includes Pate, guitar and vocals; Lewis Stephens (who played with Freddie King and Benny Turner), keyboards; Terry Dry, bass; Matt Johnson, drums; and Zito, rhythm guitar. The album was recorded at the brand new Marz Studio in Nederland, Texas.
Pate opens with “Let The Juke Joint Jump” written by Vasti Jackson and recorded by Koko Taylor on her 1993 album “Force of Nature” on Alligator Records. He also covers blues classics such as Elmore James’ “Sho-Nuff I Do”; Fats Domino’s “Hello Josephine”; Willie Dixon’s “My Babe”, and B.B. King’s “Dance With Me Baby”.
Pate includes two of his own songs, the title track and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman”. He touches on his Country experiences by including a blues version of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’”. Included also is the Cajun tune “Jolie Blond” written by Amede Breaux and first recorded in 1929.
My favorite track however has to be Pate’s version of Allen Toussaint’s “Nothing Takes The Place of You”. Co-producer Zito says it best “Freddie Pate is such a soulful dude, a master guitarist and a heartfelt vocalist. His Blues album is long overdue…Are you ready for Freddie???”
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