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WILLIE KING'S FREEDOM CREEK FESTIVAL 2006
Friday 26th May
Saturday 27th May
Old Memphis, near Aliceville, Alabama
See pictures of 2006 festival by David Childs
FRIDAY from 4pm featuring Alabama blues talent "Birmingham" George Conner, Clarence Davis,Jessie Daniels, Taylor Moore, The Old Memphis Kings, Grapevine, Robert and more!
SATURDAY from 1pm featuring legendary bluesmen Honeyboy Edwards , Willie King and the Liberators PLUS MUDCAT, Alabama blueswomen Caroline Shines, Debbie Bond and Sweet Claudette, Little Lee, Todd Johnson and Jock Webb, The Project (the Alabama Blues Project advanced blues camp band), Reverend Little and more!
ADMISSION Friday $5, Saturday $10 suggested donation
FREE food and refreshments included for Saturday's early birds!!!
SECURITY will be provided by the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.
BRING a chair and sunscreen.
FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS will be available at the festival and you are welcome to bring you own.
PLEASE NOTE the festival is in Pickens County, which is a dry county. Please help us by being sensitive to this issue and keeping a low profile.
DIRECTIONS to the festival are at the bottom of this page
CAMPING is available at the festival free of charge and at the nearby Pickensville Recreation Area.
HOTEL AND MOTEL accommodations are available in nearby Macon, Mississippi and Aliceville, Alabama. More choices are available a little further away in Columbus, Mississippi, Eutaw and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
SPONSORS Many thanks to the following sponsors for making this festival possible: the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Bill Lucado, Musicmaker Foundation and Alabama Blues Project.
The following is an extract from the review of the Freedom Creek Festival printed in the Chicago Tribune, 21st June 2002:
". . . For King is not only a professional musician; he's also a community
organizer in western Alabama's Pickens County.
He combines his two pursuits every June when he hosts his Freedom Creek Festival, a gathering of musicians, political activists and barbecue cooks on King's farm in Aliceville, Alabama. . . .
. . . To get there, you pull in off the paved road, drive past the two sagging white trailers where King lives and works, slip through the break in the trees, cross the freshly mowed field and park near the stand of maple, oak and pine. Those trees hug the steep slopes of a V shaped ravine cut by a small creek. At the top of the north bank is a lumber and cinder block stage, spray painted with silhouettes of the maple leaves lying all around.
Performing on stage in the John Lee Hooker style that seems to dominate the festival is Little Lee, a veteran bluesman from just across the border in Mississippi. He is backed by Debbie Bond, the guitar playing director of the Alabama Blues Project, and by Clay Swofford, the 18 year old keyboard prodigy from Dakman, Alabama.
But King strides away from the stage, past the eight foot long gas tanks that have been converted into charcoal grills, past the brochure laden community tables, past the whiskey drinkers in their lawn chairs, out into the woods where he can sit cross legged on the ground and explain his work. . . .
. . . After all the other bands have played, just as the sun is reddening the line of trees to the west, Willie King & the Liberators take the stage. The lights strapped to the maple trees come on, and the small crowd of maybe 200, black and white, abandons the nylon chairs to wriggle and writhe in the dust before the stage. . . .
. . . The set's highlight is 'America,' a song from the new album. Backed by a groove that reminds one of Booker T. & the MGs, King sings of a broken love affair with a mixture of hurt over the broken promises, and of hope that the separated lovers can be reunited. But the song is not about a woman; it's about the singer and his nation. 'America,' he sings in a plaintive tone, with Halbert shadowing his every move, 'we've been separated too long.'
'Like that song says,' King argues, 'all of us in America have to try to make up with each other, just like a man and a woman. I love America, and America has been divided too long. We have to heal those wounds and really try to get it together this time.' "
(Above photos courtesy of Andreas Fuhrmann)
From almost any direction, the best route is to get to Aliceville first!
From Aliceville to Old Memphis (in Pickens County)
For further information please contact the Alabama Blues Project by email or by phone in the USA at (205) 554 1795.