Freddie Stevenson is a Scottish afro'd punk poet who might remind you of a character from Fraggle Rock. It's not much of a coincidence considering his mother was the co-creator of the groundbreaking Jim Henson-helmed children’s show. Some might think such a creative pedigree would give an aspiring musician a leg up. Luckily, Freddie doesn't need it. His upbeat, tongue-in-cheek, highly melodious and expertly played pop songs speak for themselves.
Let's rewind a minute for perspective’s sake. Not long after Freddie's debut album Body On The Line had been named a BBC Album of the Year in 2006, he found himself ready to make another record. Whether sitting alone in a hotel room in New York City, or nursing a whiskey by the fire at home in Scotland Freddie’s always writing.
For the recording of Freddie Stevenson’s new album All My Strange Companions, and it’s collection of visceral, raw, and rustic tunes, it was apparent that Nashville was oozing with exactly the types of musicians Freddie needed to work with. Soon half of Emmylou Harris' band was in for the long haul. Next to step forward: David Z., Prince’s legendary engineer and producer.
As the sessions began, the songs kept coming. The resulting album reveals a great British songwriter bringing together the flavors of soul and rhythm and blues that only Nashville can offer.
And why has Freddie been hanging out with Giorgio Armani and Dita Von Teese?
As previously stated, Freddie grew up around artists and sometimes an artist's earliest supporters are other creative people. Over the years Freddie has been lucky enough to cultivate a fan base of such notable people as actors Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem and musicians such as Dave Matthews, Lucinda Williams and Mike Scott of The Waterboys.
Perhaps Freddie’s most notorious accolade to date was having The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant call his 2006 tune “If You Don't Kiss Me” the “ultimate song to seduce women to.” It must work, as evidenced by burlesque performer (and Marilyn Manson-ex) Dita Von Teese penning her phone number in lipstick on Freddie at this year’s Paris Fashion Week (which Freddie was invited to by Mr. Armani - mystery solved.)
Back to the tunes -- a listen to All My Strange Companions demonstrates the intricate diversity in Freddie’s writing. From the acoustic-punk sing-a-long opener “Easy Now” (often referred to as “the JK Rowling song”) to the woeful, tender pining of “Alibi Song,” Freddie conjures melodic hooks from the most wondrous of places. Musically the record soars. Its sound spans the intricate weaving of acoustic guitar and languished lap steel in “The Soft Collapse” through to the vicious punk stylings of “Ordinary Girl."
Freddie gigs regularly around the UK, Europe and USA, with residencies in New York and London set for early 2008. He plays with Brady Blade (Drums – Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Barenaked Ladies), Chris Donohue (Bass – Emmylou Harris), Phil Madeira (Keyboards, Guitars, Accordion – Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller), John Perry (Guitars – lead guitarist of underground UK punk legends The Only Ones). These are the sounds of four great musicians capturing the raw energy that can only come from an honest, real performance.
Freddie’s first US show of 2008 will be during Fanatic Promotion’s yearly showcase during the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas at The Wave on Wednesday, March 12. The showcase also boasts critically acclaimed artists Die! Die! Die!, The OaKs, Saint Bernadette, Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden and Steve Smith.
Spend a moment with Freddie and expose yourself to one of the UK's most vibrant songwriters.
All My Strange Companions Tracklisting:
Release Date: 04.15.08
01. Easy Now
02. Alibi Song
05. If There Is A World
06. If An Alien Astronomer Could See Us From Afar
07. Nothing’s Gonna Change
08. Brand New Heart
09. The Soft Collapse
10. The Occasional Spell
11. Ordinary Girl
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