- Sweet funky steel
Freddie Roulette was born in Illinois, but later in the early 1970s moved to San Francisco. He got interested in steel guitar, an old Hawaiian musical tradition, when he saw a girl playing it in the elementary school. He soon mastered the instrument and brought the sound with him to San Francisco. Adding the steel guitar and slack key elements to blues music, he created some really unique sounds. His first and seemingly the only solo album, Sweet funky steel was released in 1973 on Janus Records. It was produced by Harvey Mandel, the former guitarist of the great Canned Heat. Mandel also played solo guitar on the album among three other regular guitarists and Roulette on steel guitar. So guitars are the key element here on this album, especially the steel guitar of course.
Songs on this album are mostly blues oriented but there’s few funky ones too. “Joaquin”, “Cause and effect” and “Million dollar feeling” are all downtempo, but quite funky tracks. At the same time they also sound kind of odd and unusual, but that’s because of the sharp and piercing sound of the steel guitar. The best track however is the last one, “Alleluia”. It’s an uptempo break’ish steel guitar funk track with nice beats. Quite obscure album I must say.
Cause and effect
Million dollar feeling