|Willie King Memorial Home Page
In honor of the late, great Willie King, the Rural Members Association proudly presents
the 19th annual FREEDOM CREEK FESTIVAL
Saturday 4th June, 2016 - 11am to 8pm
Cookieman's Place on Hwy 17 1438 Wilder Circle, Aliceville, AL 35442
Images of the 2014 festival by Robert Sutton/Tuscaloosa News
Video of Freedom Creek Festival 2012 by University of Alabama intern Matese
ALL BLUES, ALL DAY!!!
Featuring the great MUDCAT
plus Little Willie Farmer,
the Alabama Blues Project Band,
Geno and the Mississippi Blues Boys,
Blues Women Review featuring Debbie Bond, Rachel Edwards, Carla Don and B.J. Reed,
"Birmingham" George Conner,
Willie Lee Halbert and the Fingerprint Band
. . . and more!
SCHEDULE Click here!
ADMISSION Suggested donation $10
DIRECTIONS to the festival are at the bottom of this page
HOTEL AND MOTEL The nearest accommodations are in nearby Aliceville, Alabama. More choices are available a little further away in Columbus MS, Eutaw AL and Tuscaloosa AL.
CAMPING is available at the nearby Pickensville Recreation Area.
FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS will be available at the festival and you are welcome to bring you own.
BRING a chair and sunscreen.
Share this event on Twitter or Facebook and help spread the word!
SPONSORS Many thanks to current and past sponsors for making this festival possible: Walter Energy, Westervelt Renewable Energy, Greene Beverage and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, with assistance from the Alabama Blues Project.
. . . . ............ ...
The following is an extract from a review of the Freedom Creek Festival printed in the Chicago Tribune, 21st June 2002:
". . . For King is not only a professional musician; he's also a community
organizer in western Alabama's Pickens County.
He combines his two pursuits every June when he hosts his Freedom Creek Festival, a gathering of musicians, political activists and barbecue cooks on King's farm in Aliceville, Alabama. . . .
. . . To get there, you pull in off the paved road, drive past the two sagging white trailers where King lives and works, slip through the break in the trees, cross the freshly mowed field and park near the stand of maple, oak and pine. Those trees hug the steep slopes of a V shaped ravine cut by a small creek. At the top of the north bank is a lumber and cinder block stage, spray painted with silhouettes of the maple leaves lying all around.
Performing on stage in the John Lee Hooker style that seems to dominate the festival is Little Lee, a veteran bluesman from just across the border in Mississippi. He is backed by Debbie Bond, the guitar playing director of the Alabama Blues Project, and by Clay Swofford, the 18 year old keyboard prodigy from Dakman, Alabama.
But King strides away from the stage, past the eight foot long gas tanks that have been converted into charcoal grills, past the brochure laden community tables, past the whiskey drinkers in their lawn chairs, out into the woods where he can sit cross legged on the ground and explain his work. . . .
. . . After all the other bands have played, just as the sun is reddening the line of trees to the west, Willie King & the Liberators take the stage. The lights strapped to the maple trees come on, and the small crowd of maybe 200, black and white, abandons the nylon chairs to wriggle and writhe in the dust before the stage. . . .
. . . The set's highlight is 'America,' a song from the new album. Backed by a groove that reminds one of Booker T. & the MGs, King sings of a broken love affair with a mixture of hurt over the broken promises, and of hope that the separated lovers can be reunited. But the song is not about a woman; it's about the singer and his nation. 'America,' he sings in a plaintive tone, with Halbert shadowing his every move, 'we've been separated too long.'
'Like that song says,' King argues, 'all of us in America have to try to make up with each other, just like a man and a woman. I love America, and America has been divided too long. We have to heal those wounds and really try to get it together this time.' "
(Above photos courtesy of Andreas Fuhrmann)
The festival takes place in Aliceville, Alabama. Click here to download directions/map (pdf).
The festival address is 1438, Wilder Circle, Aliceville AL 35442. The location is generally known as Cookieman's Place on Hwy 17.
First, get to Aliceville!
From Aliceville town center (click here for map) :
For further information please contact us by email or phone in the USA at (205) 366 1307.