Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fred's on BBC Radio

Click here to listen to a podcast of the interview with Fred featured last week on the BBC radio show "Americana," with Jonny Diamond. Fred's segment closes the show. If you're in a rush, fast forward to the 22:26 time point after the commercial to hear him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A hot time at the Smithsonian Folklife Fest

Many thanks to Mark Puryear and all our people at the Smithsonian Institution who helped make the Rhythm & Blues program happen at this year's Folklife Festival! Thanks, too, to the fans, friends, family and fellow music makers who helped ensure that it was a funky good time for all involved. The event featured a total of eight performances by Fred and the band, along with several discussion on the Session Stage. Click  here for video. Also, click here for more still photos from the entire festival, which included programs on the Peace Corps and Columbia. Click here to see Mark and his team of staff and interns who worked so hard to keep us all comfortable.

Enjoy these family photos, as well as additional shots provided along with many thanks to attending photographers Andre Alexander and Greg Lawler.

The New JBs, with guest member Freddie Hendrix on trumpet
The Smithsonian's Timothy Anne Burnside interviewing Fred on the Session Stage.

Stories from the Road 

Fred on the Session Stage with Sam Lathan of the Monitors

Dwayne and Freddie

Linda Shider, Fred and Vesper Osborne

The Swallows

Sam and the Weavers (African basket-weavers participating in the Peace Corps program)

Sam, Cherise and Fred

A highlight of the week for Fred was getting to spend time with his grandchildren, including his grandsons, 4-year-old Coleman Britt and 7-month-old Parker Gary.

Cole and Fred

Fred and Parker

Thanks to Andre Alexander for these shots of Cole onstage with his "Poppie" and the New JBs.

Finally, thanks to Greg Lawler for these shots.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Video and images from Poland

Fred has just finished up with his New JBs at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Stay tuned for photos from this festival, which this year is celebrating R&B music with the program Rhythm and Blues: Tell it Like it Is.

Meanwhile, below are photos and links to video from Fred's trip to Poland earlier this month with Abraham Incorporated. The band played July 1 at the Open'er Festival, the country's largest open air festival, which happens in Gdynia, a city in the north of Poland at the Baltic Sea coast, and on July 2 at the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. Click here, here and here for video -- and links to more youtube video -- from the two events.

Finally, here are stills from the trip. Enjoy.

Abe Inc. onstage at the Open'er Festival

Socalled meets the paparazzi in Krakow, while Freddie Hendrix warms up his trumpet.
Abe Inc guitarist Allen "Waw Waw" Watsky backstage in Krakow with his riq.
Josh, David and Fred with interviewer and festival MC.  

Fred navigating one of the hazards of his work, climbing down from the huge stage in Krakow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Funky Fred for Free in D.C.

Fans who are in or near Washington, D.C., can hear Fred with his New JBs at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this week, as well as on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage at 6 p.m. today. Click here for more information about this evening's show, and here for more information about the Festival's performances and discussion sessions.

Here is the schedule for Fred and the band, which includes Bruce Cox on drums, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, Reggie Ward on guitar, Barney McAll on keys, Ernie Fields Jr. on sax and flute, and Freddie Hendrix on trumpet. See you there!


11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Interview (Fred, Joya)
1:10-2:15 p.m.: Performance on the Motor City Stage (All)
4:15-5 p.m. Stories from the Road session (Ernie, Reggie, Joya)
6-8 p.m.: Performance on the Motor City Stage (All)
FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011
11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Stories from the Road session (Fred, Joya)
1:10-2:15 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
4:25-5:30 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
11:45a.m.-12:20 p.m.: R&B Through the Decades session (Ernie, Fred, Reggie)
12:30-1:15 p.m.: Stories from the Road session (Bruce, Dwayne, Joya)
2:15-3:20 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2011
12:05-1:10 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
3:20-4:25 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
5-5:30 p.m.: Interview with Fred Wesley and Sam Lathan (Fred, Joya)
MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011
11a.m.-12:05 p.m.: Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)
1:15-2 p.m.: Stories from the Studio session (Ernie, Reggie, Fred)
3:20-4:25 p.m.:  Performance on the Soulsville Stage (All)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Midsummer Night Swingin' in NYC

Fred's in Krakow, Poland, now with Abraham Inc. for the Jewish Culture Festival. Stay tuned for photos from the Poland swing, which also included a performance July 1 at the Open'er Fest. For now, enjoy these shots from the performance June 28 at the Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park in New York City, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Soul Train

The show featured Fred with Pee Wee Ellis, along with guest vocalists Martha High, a longtime member of the James Brown Review, and Fred Ross of California. Also included were three members of Fred's New JBs: Bruce Cox on drums, Gary Winters on trumpet and Barney McAll on keys. Original JBs member Fred Thomas played bass and California-based guitarist Ray Obiedo rounded out the lineup. 

Here are photos courtesy of the Schmidt family, friends of Fred's Funky Family friend Heinrich Buttler:

Fred Wesley, Fred Ross, Pee Wee Ellis

Martha High
Here's a shot by Funky Family Friend and photographer Greg Aiello:

Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis
Finally, photos by our cousin, Song "Byrd" Williamson:

Fred Ross, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Gary Winters, and special soundcheck guest Bill Bragin of Lincoln Center

Gary and Song

Pee Wee, Gary and Fred

Funky Fred's silver sneaks from Serbia

Ray Obiedo, Bruce Cox, Fred Ross, Barney McAll

Fred Ross, Pee Wee, Gary

Funky Fred's longtime friend Joshi Armstead, an original Ikette

Fred and Joshi

Fred with dancer proteges of original Soul Train dancer Tyrone Proctor

Original JB Fred Thomas