Freddie WhiteTread Softly Festival
Freddie White has long been synonymous with music of the highest quality. He has been part of the fabric of the live music scene in Ireland since the 1970’s and his albums continue to sell well, amongst his loyal and new-found fan base. Born in Cobh, Co. Cork into a musical family, by age 17 he was playing professionally. At 19, he moved to London, were he busked in subways, and developed his unique voice and guitar style. His earliest recordings, which were re-mastered and re-released in 2004, are still hugely popular among his loyal fan base.
“The sparse and haunting ‘Live on Tour’ is still among the greatest Irish albums of all time. ‘Do You Do’ swings and struts just as profoundly. Imagine those two cuts of vinyl made decade ago, they still stand as perfection” (Irish Times)
In 1974, he was a founding member of ‘Scullion’, together with Philip King and Sonny Condell. Later he formed ‘The Fake’, regarded as one of the seminal Irish bands of the late ‘70’s. Next came The Freddie White Band formed in 1978, which toured with Eric Clapton that year.
His first album, Live on Tour, recorded by Nicky Ryan while touring with Clannad, brought him national attention. His second album, Do You Do, was the biggest selling Mulligan Label album of 1981. With these early albums, Freddie introduced an eclectic repertoire of music, which spanned musical genres and eras, to an Irish audience.
Long Distance Runner was launched in 1985, and it featured original songs such as Goodbye This Time, Down Without A Fight, and the hit single Frozen Heart, which was co-written with Johnny Duhan. His fourth album, Close To You continued this trend, with most of the songs self-penned. In 1994, he released Straight Up, a collection of fourteen songs recorded live by DanDan Fitzgerald.
My Country was released in Ireland in May 1999. A collection of eleven songs co-written with Ann O’Sullivan and based on the poetry of Don O’Sullivan. The album was co-produced by Freddie and Declan Sinnott, renowned for his work as producer and arranger with Sinead Lohan, Frances Black and Mary Black and as lead guitarist with Horslips and Moving Hearts.
In May 2002 the 2-CD set Lost and Found was released, comprising digitally re-mastered versions of two of Freddie's best selling early albums, albums, namely, Live on Tour and Do You Do, under the watchful eye of original producer PJ Curtis. The re-release was warmly welcomed not only by the many whose original vinyl copies had long since worn out, but also by those who delighted in discovering these classic recordings.
In 2004, Freddie White returned to Ireland after many years living in the USA and released an all-new studio album entitled Four Days in May. Recorded in Dublin with some of Ireland's finest musicians over a four-day period, it showcases Freddie's songwriting prowess and unerring choice of songs worthy of remarkable reinterpretation.
Since then he has toured regularly and also dedicated himself to the development of his latest recording, collaborating with songwriters Jimmy MacCarthy and Jim Barrett. Released in 2008, Stormy Lullaby, is a stunning collection of moody tracks in which Freddie White’s musicianship and voice shine through. He has once again teamed up with his old cohort DanDan Fitzgerald to produce this gem. The album has an acoustic feel thanks to the input of a small, tight group of musicians from his native Cork.
Some tracks are newly written, while others (not previously recorded by Freddie) have proven their worth by becoming firm favourites with his live audiences. It showcases what Freddie does best – that is ‘get inside’ and deliver heartrending, troubled love songs in a manner guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. It is often said of Freddie that he does not merely ‘cover’ great songs; more often than not he improves on the originals. Indeed, if this were not the case, he would surely be more highly revered for his own songwriting accomplishments.
His keen ear for quality songs, undisputed talent for interpretation and exemplary songwriting skills, stand out in his most intimate offering. Feddie's album, Here With You released in April 2012 introduced Trish Hickey and is a collection of songs from some of their favourite writers. The album was recorded in Ireland and Australia.
Entitled “PRODIGAL SONGS”, Freddie’s latest album is a collection of songs about the power of love, the power of music, an observation on the history of Ireland over the last 100 years… and one song about a certain dog, and with a healthy inclusion of some rare covers.
Freddie moved to Sydney, Australia in March 2011 but toured Ireland and the UK regularly.
He now resides in New York City since December 2016 and returns to play his annual Irish tour in July/August where the new songs will feature along with Freddie’s classics from his 40 year career as a principal in the orchestra of Irish folk and rock music.
On Saturday the 22nd of July, from11am - 1pm, Freddie will hold a song writing workshop in the theatre. This will provide a rare opportunity to learn from a master musician whose singer-songwriting skills are quite outstanding. Freddie brings a wealth of experience to this workshop and it will be an unmissable opportunity for all songswriters at every level.
Tickets are priced at €15 and are available from the box office.