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Freddie Roulette

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The slack key and steel guitar tradition of Hawaii has been adapted for the blues by Illinois-born and San Francisco-based guitarist Freddie Roulette. Known for his cool tone and intense, high-note, squeals, Roulette provides some of the blues' most unique sounds. In addition to recording as a soloist, Roulette has collaborated with bluesmen Earl Hooker and Charlie Musselwhite and guitar wizards Henry Kaiser and Steve Kinmock. His 1978 debut solo album, Sweet Funky Steel, was produced by former Canned Heat guitarist, Harvey Mandel. Roulette's lust of the steel guitar was sparked when he saw a girl playing the instrument at St. Mary's elementary school in Evanston, IL. Taking lessons in the seventh and eight grade, he soon mastered the instrument. Brought to San Francisco in the mid-'70s by Musselwhite, Roulette has continued to call the area "home." Performing mostly with obscure groups, including, Robert Leroy Jones and the Crossroads, Roulette supplements his income from music by managing a low-income apartment building in West Berkeley. ~ Craig Harris

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03 May 1939 in Evanston, IL

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s