March 2001

Willie King
Freedom Creek
Rooster Blues

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Willie King is more than just another rollicking house-rocker. Part bluesman, part preacher, part political activist, he imparts important lessons about human rights and brotherhood in his thoughtful lyrics on Freedom Creek while laying down heavy-duty, juke-joint grooves with his band, The Liberators. In a raspy, Howlin' Wolfish voice, King delivers politically tinged protest songs like "Second Coming," "Uncle Tom," "Stand Up and Speak the Truth," "Clean Up the Ghetto" and "The Sell-Out" with powerful deep-blues authority. Recorded live to two-track at Bettie's Place, a country juke joint in Prairie Point, Mississippi, King's self-described "struggling songs for the working people" are as hypnotic, hard-hitting and controversial as Fela Kuti's Afrobeat protest songs or Bob Marley's politically tinged, socially conscious reggae tunes, offering listeners a large dose of reality along with foot-pattin' pleasure. As a bonus track, King delivers striking spoken-word testimony about the ways of life on the plantation and the nature of the blues. This one is as intriguing and relevant as it is infectious.

Originally published in March 2001
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