By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Fred has opened up for Foreigner, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, Blue Oyster Cult, George Thorogood, Phish, Melanie, Leslie West and Mountain, and others. Fred has worked on stage with Buddy Cage, The Peddle Steel Player for the bands New Riders of the Purple Sage and Grateful Dead Fame. Fred played Violin for the Woodstock 25th Reunion at the Original Site. He was part of the Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival at the Tampa Hard Rock Casino, was nominated for the Creative Loafing Best of the Bay 2016 Readers Poll for Best of the Bay “Best Instrumentalist.”
This disc is a showcase for his unique talents and songwriting abilities. There’s searing, screaming electric guitar, melodic acoustic 6-string, and modern electric violin, banjo & ukulele. dobro, lap steel and more.Of course, rarely is a solo album truly solo, and Fred happily gives credit to all contributors and collaborators.
While Fred most often plays with his band, 4X, he also performs solo as Fred Chandler Epicoustic Events. Fred’s been playing since 1973, and prior to his latest band he was with Mojo Dragonfly.
Fred has completed over 400 songs in the Studio. He previously released a CD with The Band 4X, and will begin recording their second CD, including a new female lead singer, in the winter of 2017. Fred’s full event schedule includes the band, solo and hosting an open mic session every Monday at a local hangout.. Fred is frequently hired by other studio musicians to perform session work by utilizing his multi-instrumental experience. Writing, Arranging and Recording Music is a passion.
Fred recently relocated to the Tampa Bay area from Vermont. Not only do Fred’s vocals command attention, he plays guitar, violin, viola, cello, mandolin, dobro, and ukulele. He’s been playing guitar and writing songs for over 40 years!
But let’s get to the music! Fred describes this CD as “dance oriented,” and I’ll agree with that – it’s quite a departure from the mostly hard rock tunes he performs with his band. The first track, “Satin Nights,” reminds me of nothing more than George Benson, a breezing instrumental. “Pizzacato Dreams” continues this mellow feel, with vocals adding to the feel. “My Happy Little Space” picks it up with more of a funky feel, moving into the definitely danceable realm.
And then there’s “Punkass Funkass,” definitely influenced by groups like the Gap Band – and Kiss? Yes, though there’s nothing weepy about it, there’s a reference to “Beth” in there, performed by Fred’s Beth-equivalent, Patty. It’s followed by “Field of Purple,” which has a James Bond theme feel to it, sultry and powerful. “Bull by the Horns” is reminiscent of one of those songs they play at motivational events, an interesting turn to an upbeat, yet different tone.
The title Song, “Tekno Teq,” is back to a movie theme feel, but this time it’s more of an all-out action movie, maybe a montage of training scenes. And now, “Timeless Smile” plays during the romantic scene when the hero gets the girl at the end.
Now it’s back to the real world, with “Don’t Drop the Mic,” a voiced-over hip-hoppy commentary that slaps you back into thinking mode. Last but not least we have “The Guitars That Destroyed the World,” an Iron Maiden meets Rick James mashup that combines funk and metal in a surprisingly effective combination.
The CD release party is July 2nd at Ukelele Brands in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, at 5 p.m. If you have to miss that, you can see Fred at Uncle Fat’s Tavern 2 in Tampa every Monday night at 7 or follow him here: