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Artist: ST. JUDE, FREDERICK MICHAEL
Title: Here Am I
Format: LP
Label: Drag City
Country: USA
Price: $22.00
"At the end of the 1960s, FREDDY DENGLER was a veteran of the club circuit in his native Pennsylvania. Inspired in his boyhood by the decaying glamour of his fathers swing-era nightclub and then again in adolescence by the ubiquitous charm of The Beatles, hed taken up the guitar as a teenager. This led to bands, and before long, Freddy was playing regular gigs with a group called THE OTHER SIDE. Amidst the hard work of rock and roll were a couple of recording sessions, but unfortunately for Freddy, his band mates didnt share his enthusiasm for writing new material. By 1972, Freddy was in Florida and looking for a band to join. He eventually landed with an outfit named CYCLE, playing hits of the day and fronting the group with his frenetic stage presence. When that band broke on the rocks of mid-70s decadence, Freddy decided he needed a new approach: original songs, sung by an alterego he dubbed FREDERICK MICHAEL ST. JUDE. Shooting for the singles market, he wrote the material for Here Am I, then went looking for a company to back him. In the summer of 1976, he found SRS International Recording Studios. A few demos later, they were convinced to go all the way and cut a whole album with Freddy for their Soul Deep label. Inspired by Bowie and one of Bowies own heroes, Anthony Newley, Freddys own crooning occasionally has the reedy warble of Paul Williams, but with the backing of a moving, grooving southern house band that verges the material toward the sort of pop music of Scepterera B. J. Thomas. Freddy laid the tracks quickly; SRS personnel added strings and then, without his further input, overdubbed further, bringing an additional production edge with synthesizers and notably the robotic beat to the song "Love You Anyway," that left Freddy "shocked and awed" when he heard the finished record. In the end, SRS and their Soul Deep label were deep-sixed in sudden and complete fashion; the Frederick Michael St. Jude album went into the world without solid representation and Freddys further musical endeavors were limited to a single in the mid-80s. Here is a pristine reproduction of the wild sounds of Here Am I. Freddys vigorous delivery, sensitive-man lyrics and the moogy synth touches make the album an unique and notable entry from its era." -Drag City.

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