We were thrilled to welcome some fabulous artists to 2020’s TEDxRaleigh!
Freddy Greene was born in Franklinton, NC in what had once been a piccolo joint (The Chicken Shack) owned by his uncles, Pete and Clarence Kearney. Prior to Freddy’s birth, Father of the Blues and family friend, the late W.C. Handy visited and performed there. Greene was exposed to music at an early age as he recalls listening to the jukebox and occasionally peeking in to watch the patrons of the piccolo joint pop in their quarters and dance to their favorite tunes. Freddy was inspired by his mother, poet and storyteller, Flora, who repeatedly told him the story of a young boy, saved from a dangerous situation by a man who played a horn. This story came in the form of discipline for the budding musician. How befitting that Freddy would grow to love the horn and use it as a means of self-expression and livelihood.Freddy received his formal education from St. Augustine’s College (Raleigh, NC) and NC Central University (Durham, NC). While maintaining his studies, he realized the art of street performing on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC and found it to deliver immediate feedback. This allowed him to fine-tune his skills while successfully maintaining his studies. His street playing earned him the alias, Street Genie.
Born and raised in the North Carolina back country, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen began taking in the songs, stories, and tunes that make up their beloved state’s heritage before they could talk. Despite having played music together in some form or another for most of their lives, the current lineup was formed in the summer of 2016. Past performances range from the Cat’s Cradle, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Appaloosa Festival, and IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in the States to Spraoi Festival, Whelan’s, and the Roisin Dublin Ireland.
The band aims to explore the Gaelic roots of North Carolinian music, and to play it with as much energy as humanly possible. Tan and Sober hangs their hat on the fact that, no matter the venue or the crowd, their live show will have the audience engaged, smiling, and drenched with sweat. As far as folk music goes, they’re about the best drinking and dancing band you’ll find.