Fred Prellberg
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Fred Prellberg

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Fred Prellberg mixes humor, romance, nostalgia and a little darkness into a love of classic rock, rhythm and blues and the sunny melodies they just don't write the same anymore. Last of the Rock Stars is a glossy little record on the surface but repeated listens open a much deeper record. Not all of the blood has been cleansed from the tracks; examples include "Mankind Dies at Sulfur City" and the album closer "False Claims."
More than anything, Last of the Rock Stars is an album through the eyes of a rock star too old for the excess and trappings of success, now all that is left is family and the music. Released on Prellberg's own Denmark Street Records, the album feels homegrown, not at all homemade.
- antimusic.com - Zane Ewton


Fred Prellberg’s folksy voice and affinity for chiming guitars result in homespun power pop on Last Of The Rock Stars. The title track is an energetic Elliott Murphy cover, and Prellberg connects on catchy tunes like “Hangman.” “Mankind Dies At Sulfur City” and “Bride-To-Be” are clever satires while the romantic “Stay Where You Are” is endearingly self-effacing. Kudos as well to producer Ellis Clark for his harmony vocals. - Illinois Entertainer - Terrence Flamm


Andy Kershaw lookalike Fred Prellberg, the man with no internet presence, comes from the school of classic roots rock that knows what it likes, plays it and isn’t afraid to parade its influences. Opening track “No Mans Land” borrows not only the thundering bass line but also the cascading lead run from The Pirates “Shakin’ All Over” and although this is the most overt instance similar comments could be made about most of the songs here. To his credit though Prellberg adds something each time so the music moves on rather than being merely repeated. His writing takes the odd left turn or two as well, whether it’s the boy caught stealing who expects a beating but instead gets an endorsement (“Lie”) or the juxtaposition of good and bad in “Moments Like These.”

Prellberg can swing and has a heavier side too, as the rockabilly “Real Real Wild” and the harder-edged “Hands Of God” respectively bear witness. To complete the picture he has a tender core and “A Sense Of Home” is as sensitive and thoughtful as they come. So, all bases covered then, and covered well. Now, if only one knew who on earth he was...

7 out of 10 - Americana UK - Jeremy Searle


This Chicago singer-songwriter is back and working with producer Ellis Clark, of the psych-pop band Epicycle. This proves to be, yet again, a winning combination.

Prellberg’s bread-and-butter is wry and smart observational songs. He has a folkie, friendly voice. Working with a creative and sympathetic producer, he makes albums that are a lot more musically diverse than many of his contemporaries.

He is certainly lyrically diverse. Early on, he reels off “Mari Tamed the Mountain Lion”. This song is happy and jangly, and if the lyrics weren’t a bit adult, you’d almost think that it was a children’s song. After telling the story behind the title in the first verse, Prellberg looks at the routine and spectacular things we do. I think the point is that we all do what we have to do, and sometimes that involves rising to the occasion.

This is contrasted by the witty and cynical “Lie”, which will never make any children’s album. This is an edgy folk rocker about a bad kid who gets a piece of advice from his dad that carries him through life: “Lie/say what you must to get by/don’t think about it/just lie/I know you can if you try.” Yes, it’s funny, but it’s firmly grounded in human nature. With a swell soaring melody in the chorus too.

Then there’s the outright comedy of “Real Real Wild”. This is a boppin’ blues number where Fred sings about what happens when he drinks gin. This track has the good time cheer of artists like NRBQ and The Morells.

Prellberg also shows an affinity for sweeping roots rock songs. “The Hands of God” has a meaty guitar, an insistent organ part and a sad harmonica part -- the perfect setting for Fred’s storytelling abilities. It’s a good dramatic number with a solid hook. He comes up with a low key anthem on “A Sense Of Home”, which has the type of guitar chords that have served The Byrds, Tom Petty, and others so well. It’s a classic song structure and sound and Prellberg does well by it.

But the best track is the first track. “No Man’s Land” is a smoker. This song stomps with nearly the fury of the best of rockers by Neil Young and Steve Wynn. The song starts with Prellberg talking to the devil and then a preacher and discovering that he’s pretty darned well damned. This is a story of redemption with sharp lyrics and great guitar work throughout. This may open the disc but it sounds like a set closer to me.

Fred Prellberg has really found where he needs to be musically. This is a good mix of folk and roots rock, with a great attention to detail.
- Hablo Ennui - Mike Bennett


Discography

2005: Last of the Rock Star Stars (lp)
2008: Ten Pennies Make a Dime
I've received airplay on various college & community radio stations throughout US, & I've had some songs streamed on music blogs.

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Bio

While reviewers often refer to the 'classic' '60s & '70s influences of my music, my sound has not been accused of being calculated or forced, or even unoriginal. They are simply the products of the influences of a music lover (first) & musician whose tastes were formed in the Beatles & post-Beatles eras, & yet keenly appreciative of styles & artists that range from Chuck Berry to Ramones, from Muddy Waters to Bruce Springsteen, & from Elvis Presley to Abba. In fact, while my songs have been noted for their diversity, the common thread is the melodicism & consistency in vision & purpose.