Freddie Krc brings The Freddie Steady 5 to the courthouse stage on Friday, June 27, as part of the newly expanded Independence Day celebration.

Rock Steady Freddie Steady: Groovin' on the music of his life

By TERRY MATHEWS, News-Telegram Arts Editor

June 18, 208 - For some, finding their true calling and passion in life is a long and winding road. Musician Freddie Krc found his bliss when he was just 9 years old.

"I saw The Beatles on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' and it changed my life," Krc (rhymes with search) said in a telephone interview last week. "They were my first musical influence. After seeing them, I started playing the drums. I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Krc, professionally known as Freddie Steady, is bringing the sounds of the 60s and five-piece band, The Freddie Steady 5, to the courthouse stage on Friday, June 27, as part of the newly expanded Independence Day celebration. This year's two-day event was organized in cooperation with the City of Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Texas Symphony League and Sulphur Springs Downtown Business Alliance.

"I've known Freddie for 15 years," Joey Baker, director of tourisum for Sulphur Springs, said. "He's a wonderful entertainer and I think everyone will enjoy his show."

Freddie played in his first band, The Sound Kings, when he was 10. He read drum music and was sitting in with jazz bands by the time he was 14. He began playing professionally when he was just 17.

He was raised in La Porte, on the Gulf Coast near Houston. He left home as soon as he graduated high school and began making a living as a professional.

"I started playing for a living in 1973. I was in what I call a 'Holiday Inn' band," Freddie explained. "I was getting to play six nights a week, four sets a night. I was in heaven. I didn't know it wasn't hip."

In late 1973, Freddie moved to Austin. The music he liked was coming out of the capitol city, and he wanted to be part of it. For the next several years, he played drums for late Texas singer-songwriter B.W. Stevenson ("My Maria"). Then, he landed a long-running gig as the drummer for Jerry Jeff Walker ("Mr. Bojangles" and "Up Against the Wall, Red Neck Mother").

"Jerry Jeff was working on a new album and needed a drummer for the last few tracks," Freddie explained. "I think the reason he liked me was that I could play as long as he could. I was 23."

Freddie played with Walker from 1977-1979 and then again from 1983-1985. In 1990, Walker called Freddie and asked him to go on tour again. He left Walker in 2000 and began playing the electric guitar and fronting his own band.

"I've been doing my stuff since then," Freddie explained.

He also spent some time in London, building a solid fan base and soaking up the distinctive sounds that were important musical influences early in his life.

Freddie plays rhythm guitar in the band. The rest of the group is made up of The Cam King on lead guitar, Will Ivey on organ, Chris Johnson on bass and "Waco Jack" McVay on drums. Along with their unique 1960s sound, the band includes a go-go dancer named Dangerous Dana.

Freddie's sound is a distinctly 60s groove, laced with just a touch of Texas country. Listening to the band's CD triggers memories of British invasion bands like The Beatles, Dave Clark Five and Gerry and the Pacemakers -- and that comparison suits Freddie just fine.

"What I'm trying to do is to use the musical sound bed of the 1960s with a little more sophisticated lyric," Freddie said.

The free show begins at 8 p.m. Friday. Get there a little early and bring your lawn chairs.

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