Freddie & The Screamers - I Ain't Crazy ( Ap 168 )

Twenty years ago I was just getting started as a music publisher. I had written a few songs that had been recorded by Blues artists like Johnny Winter and The Kinsey Report. I went looking for someone to do the administration for my publishing company and collect royalties overseas. I approached Buzz Cason at Southern Writers Group because he was outside of Nashville mainstream and understood R&B. He welcomed me aboard. Another of the writer/publishers there at the time was a very talented guy named Richard Carpenter. He'd actually had a few hit records. I was impressed, but more importantly we shared a love of Roots Rock, Soul Music and the Blues. We began writing together on a regular basis and soon were getting our songs cut by Blues artists like Koko Taylor, Sam Lay, Lonnie Brooks, Son Seals, Charlie Musselwhite and a host of others just as fast as we could write them. We also had free run of the 24 track recording studio Creative Workshop that was part of the SWWG organization. This meant that our demo recordings were actually state of the art master recordings.

Richard was a gret drummer and I played guitar and sang. We used several different bass players, but Jeff Davis quickly became our favorite. Jeff, of "Stick" as he's known to his friends, had just arrived in Nashville. He was a founding member of The Amazing Rhythm Aces and went on to work with Al Green, B.B. king, John Mayall's Blues Breakers, Bob Dylan and Ron Wood. We began playing live around Nashville ( most notably at The Ace Of Clubs on a weekly basis ) and because of our schedules bass players and drummers came and went. But the first lineup of the Screamers ( the group name was coined by Jeff Davis by the way ) was always my favorite. In 1989 I collected a bunch of our "demos" and sent them to Franco Ratti at Appaloosa Records in Milan, Italy. A few weeks later he called and offered us a record deal. The album was released in 1990. It sold pretty well and got good reviews so we decided to tour Europe. My wife, Mary-Ann Brandon, was also recording for Appaloosa so we put together a package show and spent the next few years touring relenstlessly with a revolving roster of musicians. Freddie & the Screamers recorded four albums in all.

By the mid 1990s I had gotten pretty busy as a record producer and songwriter and decided to retire the Screamers. I did a few solo albums, played with Tommy Tutone and the reunited Amazing Rhythm Aces, and bought up the catalogs of several old Nashville record labels for reissue. Mary-Ann and I continued to tour, but more and more it was in tandem with the many R&B legends we were producing and writing for. We stayed busy, life was good and I was happy. Jeff Davis and I had continued to work togegher on many projects throught the years, but afer I left Southern Writers Group in the late 1990s I lost track of Richard Carpenter. I ran into him at a Buzz Cason gig last year and we vowed to write together again, and what better excuse than a Screamers reunion ? Jeff Davis was game so we booked a gig in October 2008 at the Arkansas Blues % Heritage Festival ( aka The King Biscuit Blues Fest ). It was a resounding success and in February 2009 we went into the studio to record the new material we'd written. We're all quite pleased with it and agreed that we had to give Franco Ratti at Appaloosa Records the change to release it. He agreed and this is the result. It ain't nothin' fancy, just good, greasy, Tennessee R&B. Freddie & The Screamers are back with the back beat. We hope you dig it too.
Fred James.