Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Music: Fretkillr

Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last 5 years you would know what YouTube is. For those who have been living on Mars, YouTube is a video sharing website where people can post, view and share video clips. Think of it as a giant video library with millions upon millions of video clips that can be accessed by typing in the name. You will find clips of people doing silly stunts, clips of 60’s TV stars, your kids singing… it’s a bit like that song Portobello Road in Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Alice’s Restaurant, a place where you can find and get anything you want.
Which brings me to today’s topic.
Anyone can post what they want (within reason) on YouTube.Some people have achieved fame from their video clips having gone world wide for viewing, such as the guy in Sydney who walked around with a sign saying “Free Hugs” and then gave hugs to people.
One guy who posts videos of himself singing and playing is a guy who goes by the name of Fretkillr (also known as Fretkiller).

He is amazingly good, distinctive with a rich voice (a bit like Leon Redbone but, imho, better), good picker and versatile (he also plays ukulele and harmonica on some of the clips).
No one knows who he is and the videos only show his fingers on the guitar. He deliberately doesn’t want his identity to be known, explaining on his webpage on You Tube:
Welcome to my channel. I post my clips to provide enjoyment to anyone who loves to play or listen to the guitar. Unfortunately my schedule makes it impossible for me to personally reply to messages or questions. I've contracted an intermediary to maintain my channel and send out thank you replies in response to all the positive messages I receive. Thanks for tuning in. - Fret Killer
I'm a self-taught musician who has learned to play primarily by listening to recordings and through self-discovery. My love of folk, blues, bluegrass, country, rock, ragtime, and jazz has been the catalyst for teaching myself to be a proficient flatpicker and fingerpicker. My youtube videos employ a close-up view of my performances to maintain anonymity. They are provided solely for entertainment. My clips are not meant as guitar lessons. I do not use or have music or tabs. I can't respond to questions about guitar models and tunings. I hope you enjoy my clips and your positive comments are certainly appreciated. - Fret Killer
Hometown: Long Island, New York

If you Google his name there are numerous entries for people wanting to know who he is.
If I could buy some CD’s by him I would be down to the record store in a flash.
(Risqué Alert: Which, being Christmas, reminds me of the story of the lady who went into the music store seeking a Christmas record. For those among us who don’t know what records are, they were the flat black vinyl discs you played on a ‘record player’ in the days before compact discs and DVD’s and audio tape. The records came as LP’s, meaning Long Play (sometimes called a 10 inch), and singles. Anyhow, this lady who goes to the shop says to the young guy behind the counter “Have you got Jingling Bells on a 10 inch?” He says “No, but I’ve got dangling balls on a 7 inch.” “Is that a record?” she asks. “Maybe not,” he replies, “but it’s not bad for a lad of 17.”)
So do yourself a favour, go to FretKillr’s page on YouTube and play some of his music.
Click on the bottom right of the page at the website to go to more FretKiller pages with more musical numbers.
My favourites:
Wayfaring Stranger
I’ll See You in My Dreams
The City of New Orleans
Up the Lazy River
Singing the Blues.
I would be interested to receive your feedback on how you find him.


  1. three years ago iwas looking on utube for blues riffs. i came upon a veido "blues jam in e with flatpick"with the name fretkiller. after hearing the 2 notes with the d string i knew this was "it"
    i am 60 years old and remember the beatles as being the best music around. but this guy fretkiller beat them all. i did not know enough about computers to find this veido again. then about four months ago i saw veido frame again and played it. i still did not know he sang also. a lot times in my life certain music has brought me out of a bad place and fretkiller's music still does the same thing. he is an amazing musician and singer i find it a disservice to all who love his music for its content and for what music and art is for.for utube to remove his songs was a sad day even though i'm sure they have legallities to consider.I was puzzeled with not showing his face and the grainy veidos,but if you look closely at "over the rainbow""a song for adam"(his neckline}and"reason to believe"{just before he begins playing}i begin to maybe understand.If it is just one man doing it all or two or more it does notmatter to me.It is not orginial music except that it is orginial in its concept and performance.I thank god for bearcat5100 and his ability to save almost all the songs i love.


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