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Frazier Riddell

frazier-riddell.jpg

Frazier Riddell

 

Frazier Riddell was born in Canton Mississippi, in the 1960's, the son of a strong willed cotton farmer & loving Christian mother. He shared a love for music that was shared along with his family. "My first music learned was on my grandfathers piano" says Riddell. "My brother Charles and sister Diane taught me Chopsticks, Heart and Soul, and another tune. All three songs were duets and we played them over and over till improvisation sprung up to avoid boredom! Looking back, I realize I first learned about improvisation at age 5."

Frazier took another step in his music when he took up saxophone in the 6th grade. He played alto and tenor sax throughout High School. During these years Frazier's other brother Robert casually taught him some chords on the guitar. "I learned to play 'dueling banjos' and the few chords my brother taught me; really well. I never really took the time to learn much more until I was 20 years old" says Riddell. "I wasn't playing sax (yet) at college, but still loved music, and began to dive into guitar more and more."

Another big happening must be mentioned according to Riddell. "I had a born again experience in1981. "Born Again" may sound a little radical, but it's just another way of saying God spoke to me and for the first time, as an adult, on my own, I chose to 'believe' and 'follow' and study Jesus. This changed the course of my life! After my experience with the Father, Son & Holy Ghost, I realized I wanted to use my life pursuing something I loved. I asked my parents (they were paying the bills) if I could change my major to Music. I was prepared for a no, but I got a YES!" It was at this time that Riddell began writing songs.Riddell can name many important musical influences. The Beatles, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, David Bowie, Chase, Maynard Ferguson, Chicago, Bruce Springsteen, Ry Cooder, Steve Forbert, The Monkeys, Elvis Presley, Tom Petty, Skynard, Neil Young, BTO, Pink Floyd, Steppenwolf, Styx, Boston, Yes, The Police, America, 10cc, John Mellancamp, and the list goes on and on...... "My strongest musical influences from the early years are the 3 B's: The Beatles, David Bowie, & Bruce Springsteen" says Riddell.

Since then, many people, places & jobs, have come and gone. Riddell is now married to wife Susan and they have a son, Evan. "We wanted our son to grow up around Grandmamma, Grandaddy, Aunts, Uncles, 1st cousins, etc...." says Riddell. "So, in 1995 we moved to my home town in CANTON Mississippi. These years back in my stomping ground have helped me renew my love for music & hopefully they've made me a better writer & player. It's not easy, and I don't always enjoy it, but each day I see a few less trees & a little more forest. One Day at A Time."

In 2011 Riddell released his latest CD Project, Nothing But Free. "I'm proud of this project and think it's my best work to date. The title track was choosen because of the responses of people, both writers and just listeners. I judge my best songs by the response of the masses rather than what I like." Other popular live songs from this project include tracks 2 (Rolling on MS) & 3 (Most Likely to Fall in Love) as well as track 4 (Sunshine Headed My Way) and 5 (Feeling a Whole Lot Better) of which Riddell mostly sings live with Duet partner Shane Foshee.

In 2009, Riddell release the CD Southern Man. Riddell said "Southern Man is a song about my father who just recently passed in August of 2012. At his funeral, this song came full circle. I wrote this song in 1990, but for some reason had never put it on a CD though my family loved the song. In 09 the song made it to CD as title track. Then, I ended up singing this song at my Father's funeral, giving the song a whole new life to many friends of my Father who had never heard the song. It was a very moving time." Other popular tunes live from this project include track 2 (Stay Put), track 4 (Crown) and my great nephew Taylor Pratt's favorite song, track 7 (Poopie in the Pot).

In 2007, Riddell released the CD "MISSISSIPPI". "This CD was the beginning of a Mississippi theme that carried on thru my 2009 and 2011 projects" said Riddell. The title track was recorded in 2 completely different versions, and the 2009 CD "Southern Man" carries the 2nd version of that same song. Riddell said "Two songs stick out to me on this project, other than the title track. Robort Moton, a man who worked for my father on the farm for years, recorded track 7 (Moto Man). He is still around Canton, and for years leading up to my Fathers death, was a faithful worker. In ladder years this Tractor Driver practically became a day nurse, and did a job helping to take care of my Father, that NO ONE else could have done. MOTO is a nickname that Robert got from many of his co-workers and others. As you'll hear if you listen to this track, he makes the harmonica part of him. Also track 10 (FILTHY) is a song I nearly cut from the CD. It made it last minute, and ended up being the favorite song of my great nephew Taylor. My niece Kim told me that Taylor new every word to the 'monster song' and asked to hear it every day on the way to school. I always thought this insteresting, as I put an acoustic version of this on YouTube, and it's my highest hitting song to date. Go ear Taylor!" This CD also turned into a little bit of a complilation carrying a few older songs after track 14 (Intermission), including a live radio version of the song "Keep it in Check".

In 2005, Frazier released "Life's LittleTwister". This is a CD with a wide variety of songs. For HUMOR check out "Blah Blah Blah". If you're into flowers, check out "DANDELION". If you feel a little lost check out the title track. If you're in a -dark- mood, check out "Aaron Laney". And so on and so on...

Riddell's 2003 release (Who Will Save This World) received regional air play as well as formidable responses from live audiences. The songs "You Can Drink Beer & Also Love Jesus" (aka BEER & JESUS) & "The Grass is Always Greener" have been the keystones of the 11 song CD.

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