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Freekbass with Kelly Richey

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Michael Vee, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    There are a number of other threads in "Bassists [BG]" mentioning Freekbass, but are too old to post something new that is relevant.

    I saw Kelly Richey in Maryville, TN at Brackins Blues Club on Friday night, March 29. Here's her website.

    Freekbass somehow hooked up with Kelly and is currently touring with her band, a trio with a pretty dang good girl drummer, Jyn Yates. They are playing the music Kelly plays, which is blues rock.

    I had heard about Freekbass for a long time here and there, starting with the Bass Player article back in the mid-2000's. I've never heard the guy play, but I understood he is a Bootsy protege and is supposed to be a funkster first class.

    With Kelly Richey, Freekbass played the music and served the songs for the most part, but he did slap and pop quite a lot, which worked well in the context of the blues the way they were playing it. His overall approach was very aggressive sounding, lots of amp grunt because he hit the strings HARD. He kicked in an envelope filter on more than a few songs, which was kind of odd if you are used to hearing straight-up P-bass blues stuff, but it was done tastefully and it sounded good.

    Freek was playing a blue Jazz through a really simple pedalboard (I didn't get a close look, but it was a small number of pedals) into a Kustom Groove head and a Kustom cab that looked like a 15". It was not a horn cab, as far as I could tell, because his sound did not have much high end content. Very interesting, I would have thought a funk guy would have a horn. Looked like a very simple setup, but he had it cranked and it was rocking the house.

    He took several solos and did not overplay, but kept a funky groove going with the drummer.

    Overall, I was impressed by his role-playing in this band. He didn't flash the chops to excess, but he was definitely very talented and musical.

    I didn't stay for the second set, because I was there with a friend who had an hour and a half drive home, and the first set ended past 11. We stuck around for a few to finish the last beer and talk to Kelly some before we left.

    Fun evening. Freekbass looks a lot younger on stage than he actually is and appeared to having a great time playing the blues. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, alas.

  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Freek may be freaky, but he is a pro and does what's needed for the gig.
  3. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Bismarck, ND
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager - Zon Guitars
    The all-original blues band I'm in just opened for Kelly Richey and Freek on Thursday...

    I agree with everything you said... Seems like an odd mix, but he mostly played for the benefit of the music and didn't overdo it. Great pocket player.

    I was also a little weirded out by the envelope filter thing... Just didn't fit to my ears, but it wasn't so over the top that I hated it. Just felt weird.

    Anyway, I took a vanity shot of my rig in front of Freek's and his basses are visible.


    His pedalboard was a Q-Tron and a Whammy... and I think that was it. And his cab was a 410 and not a 15... But he was using the Kustom head you mentioned.

    Thick, classic tone. Not crazy at all.

    Unfortunately it was a work night and we have all been sick at my house, so I wasn't able to hang and talk or anything... Seemed like a nice guy though.

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