Fred started playing the 12-string acoustic guitar in Sydney in the late 1960s, inspired and mentored by the likes of Doug Ashdown, Mike McLellan, Marion Henderson, Buddy Wilson and Phil Cuneen. He was a regular at PACT Folk, Sydney’s premier folk club that saw impromptu appearances by Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary.
He played with Pat Drummond’s Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom Band, regulars in the Sydney music scene, headlining at many of the university and protest movement concerts in aid of the anti- Viet Nam war movement. Pat’s website retrospectively refers to Fred as a “12-string guitar whiz kid”. Iva Davies (Icehouse) cites the band as a major influence.
After moving to Canberra in the mid-1970s Fred played with a wide range of Canberra’s musical luminaries and iconic musicians including Mike Hayes (the Pricklefarmer), Donal Baylor, Dave O’Neill, Bruce Packard, John Butler (the Canadian one), Kevin Abbey, Lainey Kier and Steve McDonald, John van Buuren, Rick Hay, and appeared on Eric Bogle’s CD, Endangered Species. He appeared on a variety of ads and soundtracks and have been a regular for many years, with a variety of bands and performers, at the National Folk Festival.
His recent and current projects include Craig Dawson’s extraordinary Lord Byron Five; a double-
CD work-in-progress with Pat, Geoff and Steve Drummond; a CD commemorating Gordon Lightfoot’s 75th birthday with Gary Luck; and a new blues band, The Northside Lemon Kickers. As a member of Celtic band, Humbug, he recorded and produced their recent CD, On Raglan Road.
As a solo performer his material ranges from traditional to contemporary.