|Micki Free is deeply versed in soul music having spent a decade as the lead guitarist for the R&B sensation, Shalamar, moving on to establish his own career working with Prince, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Carlos Santana, and more. His new release “Tattoo Burn Redux” boasts an A list of guests and contributors including former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Mark “Muggie Doo” Leach, the Hammond B3 master of the Buddy Miles Express and legendary vocalist Howard Hewitt. The 11 tracks of gritty R&B, soul, funk and blues clearly demonstrate why Micki Free is a Grammy winner & five-time winner of the Native American Music Award.
The album opens with the contemporary Gospel anthem ‘God is On The Phone,’ a sizzling statement of the promise of faith framed as a duet with Howard Hewitt, while Free’s guitar wails in support of the powerful vocals. A needle drop introduces the scalding title track, a muscular four-on-floor groove that details real and emotional burn of heartache and lost love, punctuated by Billy Gibbons styled leads. The slinky tale ‘Greens & Barbeque’ finds Free pleading for forgiveness and mercy from troublesome love. He then ventures even deeper for the slow burning ‘Six Feet Down In The Blues,’ a classic 12-bar that drips with passion and fire. The mournful chimes on the Hammond B3 and piano lay a sonic foundation, allowing Free to bare his soul, and let the emotions flow through his vocals and fiery fret work. Randy Singer joins the crew on hot blues harp for the Hoochie-Coochie style grinder ‘Mojo Black Coffee,’ and then Free recounts a tale of spellbinding temptation and a girl who almost lost her soul to ‘Co-Co-Gin.’
The rock guitar anthem ‘There’s A Hole In The Heart Of The Blues’ speaks to the power and mystery of music and our need as a people to see to its health and prosperity. The vocals on ‘Angles in The Room’ intertwine to create an ethereal foot stomping’ low country affair. Micki Free has boldly displayed his affection for Jimi Hendrix over the course of his career and here he delivers a glorious cover of the fun-loving deep cut ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’ demonstrating his study of the master in loving tribute.
The album closes with two tracks of seasonal flavor DJs should file for their special holiday shows; the rambunctious ‘Five Minutes Till Christmas’ that kicks off with a ripping Chuck Berry lead, followed by the swirling epic ‘Sometimes In Winter’ that reveals the sentimental soft side of Micki Free, powerfully backed by a gospel choir and an emotionally-charged arrangement, once again creating a showcase for more soaring lead guitar.
Rick J Bowen
Micki Free, a Grammy winner & five-time Native American Music Award Winner, was discovered and managed by Gene Simmons of the legendary super group KISS. Micki was the guitarist in the R&B sensation Shalamar, boasting mega platinum hits with songs like ‘Dancing In The Sheets’ from the movie soundtrack “Footloose,” or friend Eddie Murphy’s smash hit movie “Beverly Hills Cop” (where Micki won his Grammy Award for “Best Album Of An Original Score Written For A Motion Picture”) on the Dave Chappell Show, in Charlie Murphy’s “True Hollywood Stories”…features “Micki Free Is Not A Girl” skit with Prince playing basketball against Charlie and Eddie Murphy.
Micki has performed and or recorded with the following; Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the super group KISS, Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Shalamar, Little Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Cheap Trick, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave Fame, Jean Beauvoir, Ramones/co-writer producer and member of the punk group The Plasmatics with Wendy O Williams and the list goes on. Performing at blues venues/festivals worldwide, Native American casinos, to Micki’s four appearances (2007-2010) at the massive “Hard Rock Calling” festival in Hyde Park, London, Micki does it all and LOVES IT!