Jake Speed & The Freddies play a mix of traditional & original folk, country blues, and ragtime tunes that muse on Cincinnati’s unique past & present. Known as the Woody Guthrie of Cincinnati, Jake Speed uses a traditional folksy delivery to compose timely and timeless songs that tell great stories with a bit of a lyrical edge. The band, built out of guitar, mandolin, fiddle, tenor guitar and upright bass (with hints of harmonica, kazoo, and washboard), has been hailed by CityBeat magazine as a “…a fixture of Cincinnati’s traditional Folk scene” since releasing its first of five albums, Queen City Rag, in 2002. Speed’s tongue-in-cheek stories and crowd-engaging antics (such as watering can solos, sing-alongs, and dance moves) keep audiences thoroughly entertained. Just two years after hitting the Cincinnati scene, the band won the 2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Award (Cincinnati’s equivalent of The Grammy Awards) for Artist of the Year. The band is now a five-time winner of the CEA for Best Folk Musicians (2001-2004; 2008). Jake Speed is a two-time winner of the CEA for Best Songwriter (2002, 2006). Cincinnati Magazine’s 2007 “Best of Cincinnati” edition named the band as one of the Top 40 Best Things About Cincinnati. In 2004, the readers of CityBeat Magazine voted them Best Local Musicians.
MUSICAL STYLE: Original and Traditional American Folk, Bluegrass, Country Blues and Ragtime
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Mississippi John Hurt
Jake Speed: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Fiddle, Kazoo & Washboard
Kentucky Graham: Tenor Guitar
Chris Gibson: Fiddle
Justin Todhunter: Mandolin, harmony vocals
Chris Werner: Upright Bass
More than 6,000 albums sold. World Come Clean (2008); Losantaville (2005); Huzzah! (2004); The Cincinnati Legends of Jeremiah Schmidt (2003); Queen City Rag (2002)
Winner of 2006 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Singer/Songwriter
Cincinnati Magazine: Top 40 Best Things About Cincinnati - 2007
CityBeat Magazine: Top 25 Albums of 2004: Huzzah!
Best Local Musician: CityBeat Magazine “Best Of” Readers’ Choice - 2004
Winner of 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002, & 2001 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for: Best Folk Band.
Winner of 2003 CAMMY Award for: Best Folk Vocalist and Best Folk Band.
Winner of 2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for: Artist of the Year and Best Singer/Songwriter.
Winner of Second Prize in 2002 Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition.