Free bassist/songwriter Andy Fraser has returned with guitar prodigy Tobi, and Tim Jones took up their free time to find out more
Andy Fraser knows something about musical prodigies, having been one himself, joining Alexis Korner’s band aged 15, before going on to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then, in April 1968, Free. The youngest member of that legendary outfit has now taken under his wing 17-year-old London guitarist/singer, Tobi, who toured with Fraser across the US last year, aged 16.
The fresh-faced axeman has a long way to go to match his mentor’s achievements, but Fraser is convinced he has what it takes to carve out his own niche in the rock pantheon. And he should know, having penned the likes of All Right Now and played on rock standards like A Little Bit Of Love and Wishing Well, before leaving the quartet for the second time in June 1972 (following a short stint with his own band, ironically called Toby). A short, ill-fated stint with Sharks (Chris Spedding et al) was followed by work with Frankie Miller and the formation of the Andy Fraser Band, before Andy established himself as one of California’s most in-demand songwriters, delivering tunes for such luminaries as Robert Palmer, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Paul Young and Rod Stewart. In 1984, Fraser issued his own Fine Fine Line, but it was more than 20 years before a follow-up, Naked And Finally Free, following years of personal struggle with his sexuality, and contraction of …
by Tim Jones
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