Listermann Brewing Company continues its summer salute to the diverse styles of music recorded at King Records with a beer honoring blues and bluegrass during the month of August.
The beer launch will take place at 10am on Saturday August 4 at Listermann’s (1621 Dana Avenue), located just blocks from the former site of King on Brewster Avenue. This tribute beer is part of a summer beer series that the brewery has developed in partnership with King Studios and the design & print shop We Have Become Vikings to celebrate the upcoming 75th anniversary of King Records in Evanston.
While many great bluesmen recorded at the studio on Brewster, none were as special as Freddie King, the great blues guitarist who lit up the charts in 1961, with six hits, including four that entered the Top 10. His playing on songs such as “San-Ho-Zay” and “I’m Tore Down,” inspired musicians like Jerry Garcia, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Peter Green, and Eric Clapton.
King Records created an impressive catalog of bluegrass music in the 1950s and 1960s. Arguably, the most important bluegrass artists on the label were The Stanley Brothers, who combined elements of old-time music with new music styles.Carter Stanley, the main songwriter, played guitar and sang lead, while his brother Ralph played banjo and sang in a high tenor voice. Their harmonies produced a distinctive, haunting tone. In eight years, from 1958 to 1966, they released 15 albums on King,
This month’s beer name is a tip of the hat to the days when King Records would release a vinyl 45 record with a hit song on each side.In 1961, Freddie King’s “Hide Away”reached number five on the R & B chart and then crossed over to the Pop chart, reaching number 29. “Train 45” was the flip side of the Stanley Brothers’ very first single for King, released sixty years ago in fall 1958.
The beer “Hide Away”/ “Train 45” is a New England Style IPA brewed with El Dorado, Centennial and Belma hops. This will be on draft and available to purchase in 4 packs of 16 ounce cans for $14.99/4 pack. There will be 80 cases available.
Listermann Brewing Company is generously donating 10% of the beer proceeds to King Studios.
“These series of beers enable us to highlight, and, more importantly, pay tribute to intensely creative artists that helped trail blaze the styles of music that we simply take for granted in our enjoyment of music every day. In this particular pairing, we have the Blues and Rock-n-Roll virtuoso Freddie King, considered one of the three “Kings” of electric blues guitar, whom helped usher in Blues and guitar focused RnR. Alongside Mr. King, we have the Stanley Brothers, who were part of a small cadre of artists that helped bring Bluegrass music to the style we know it as today. King Records is an important American cultural treasure, and we have all benefited from its existence. We, at Listermann, truly are thankful to have this opportunity to help shine a light on part of the history of what makes the heartbeat of America so wonderful.” –Jared Lewinski, head brewer at Listermann Brewing Company.
We Have Become Vikings (WHBV) have been commissioned to design portraits of these music legends that will appear on the cans along with short artist biographies composed by music historians. This month, Dr. Steven C. Tracy will write about Freddie King. Tracy is Distinguished University Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst and the author of Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City. Jon Hartley Fox, author of King of the Queen City: The Story of King Records,will provide a piece on the Stanley Brothers.Posters of WHBV’s King Records portraits will available to purchase at the beer launch.
King’s soulful voice and distinctive guitar style inspired countless musicians, in particular Eric Clapton. His “Hide Away” was a huge hit on the R & B charts but it was a surprise when the song became a crossover hit on the Pop chart reaching number 29. This was a first – a blues artist registering a hit on the Pop chart. The song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999 and the Rock Hall has named “Hide Away” one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” Freddie sold more albums during this period (1961-63) than any other blues artist including B.B. King. “The Stumble,” “Low Tide,” “Wash Out,” “Sidetracked,” “Onion Rings,” and “The Sad Nite Owl,” all contain brilliant guitar licks that influenced a generation of rock guitarists.Freddy King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012
The Stanley Brothers were one of the premier artists from the early days of bluegrass. Signing with King in 1958, the Stanleys scored their only chart hit, a novelty song called “How Far to Little Rock.” King owner Syd Nathan suggested the band add a lead guitar to their sound. They were the first band to consistently give such prominence to the lead guitar in a secular bluegrass setting. Carter composed more than a hundred songs, many of which have been covered by artists like Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs and Emmylou Harris. Following his brother’s death in 1966, Ralph Stanley continued with a highly successful solo career and had a prominent role in the phenomenally successful soundtrack for the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?The Stanley Brothers were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor in 1992.
About Listermann Brewing Company
Listermann Brewing Company is a family owned brewery and homebrew supply store located at 1621 Dana Avenue. The homebrew store has been operating since 1991 and the brewery has been brewing award-winning beers for the city since 2008.
About King Studios
King Studios is a non-profit organization whose goal is to expose and energize the legacy of Cincinnati’s historic King Records and to share its rich history in contemporary ways that engage the community and the world in the legacy of King. For more information on King Studios, visit www.kingstudios.org/
About We Have Become Vikings
We Have Become Vikings is a multi-discipline design & print shop located in the heart of Over-the-Rhine that helps people tell stories through any means possible. Visit their website https://wehavebecomevikings.com/