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Jeff Golub Band: Dreaming Of Freddie King

Jeff Golub Band's "Freddie's Midnite Dream" pays   tribute to the late blues great with the help of pianist Henry Butler.
Courtesy of the artist
Jeff Golub Band's "Freddie's Midnite Dream" pays tribute to the late blues great with the help of pianist Henry Butler.

The careworn country heart of Texas and the urban edge of Chicago coexisted beautifully in the guitar licks of Freddie King, born in the Lone Star State and a Chicagoan from age 16 on. King, who died at age 42 in 1976, is one of the "Three Kings" honored on a new album by the Jeff Golub Band. (The others are B.B. and Albert.) Golub, a 56-year-old jazz/rock/blues guitarist who backed Rod Stewart for years, ranks the three men among his favorite musicians.

The instrumental "Freddie's Midnite Dream" caught Golub's attention with its sophisticated chord changes. Golub's remake starts off slow and easy, with gentle guitar lines ringing out over comforting, gospel-rooted chords and arpeggios from the fingers of gifted pianist Henry Butler (a.k.a. "the pride of New Orleans").

As the song progresses, Golub's guitar runs grow intricate and raucous, like a bird trying to flee the shadow of city skyscrapers. A Hammond B3 organ lays down a warm blanket of burbles. And then, suddenly, the guitar quiets down — the calm before the end of a blues-infused dream.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.