The Freeloaders

The Freeloaders

 Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Imagine if Led Zeppelin had signed with Motown Records. Raw Zeppelin power mixed with cool Motown swagger. This type of blessed union is embodied by the Freeloaders. Always incorporating the past while looking to the future, the Freeloaders possess a strong rock-oriented groove and cool demeanor.


The Freeloaders are composed of a group long time friends who have shared a love of music for many years.
Wallace studied under Steve Watson in Greenville, SC, among others, and attended the Berklee summer music program where he acheived a prime spot as the lead guitarist for the jazz fusion performance ensemble. Wallace has been/is in bands such as Tootie and the Jones, Floydian Slip,and The Big Naturals.
Oliver grew up in the same town as Wallace and the pair was introduced during the early, formative junior high years. They became good friends together, always discussing their new listening favorites. Together, they have watched and influenced each others' musical progression, and continue to do so with a constant search for new inspiration as a shared passion.
So when these musical beings ended up in Charleston, SC together they began playing as much as possible, playing the songs they loved by the artists who shaped their musical lives.
Soon the boys decided they needed to find a singer with some serious soul to match there sound. By luck, they met Elise Testone at a performance. Months later their paths would cross again and a harmonious union was made. Elise Testone is a graduate of the Coastal Carolina music department, being one of the only students to undertake the opera and vocal performance route. Trained in the wicked ways of jazz, she has been amazing every audience she encounters for years. Her phrasing is remarkable, rivaling that of the old school jazz legends. Her voice is gargantuine, filling up cavernous rooms with ease; and her style is unparalleled. So when these two got together, they knew they had something amazingly fun and unique. The group has played extensively around the Charleston area at venues such as the Windjammer, the Roadhouse, the Silver Dollar, and the Map Room as well as at Pavlov's in Columbia,SC, and the Pawley's Island Tavern in Pawley's Island, SC. They have also played the Atlanta Blues festival and some other smaller festivals.
We play a mixture of rock, funk, blues, and a touch of jazz joined together by well manicured improvisation. Within this we have a mixture of unique covers and originals.
Our inspiration comes from artists such as John Scofield, Soulive, Lettuce, Medeski Martin and Wood, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, James Brown, Funkadelic, Motown, John Coltrane, Sly and the Famly Stone, and ALL kinds of blues and soul.

Set List

A typical set for us can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on what the gig calls for, but usually about an hour and we can play up to 4 sets depending on conditions. We play a mix of covers and originals. The covers are not the run of the mill covers that everyone plays, we actively sought songs not fitting this description. Furthermore, many of the arrangements are very unique, making even the familiar tunes stand out. Songs are added almost constantly, so the repertoire kinda evolves over time. The originals consist of several regulars as well as new tunes being worked on by the band or any of its members at the time.
Here is a typical set:
Thrill is Gone (B.B King)> A Go-Go (John Scofield)> Thrill is Gone, Romantic (Soulive), Damn These Blues (original), That Just Happened (original), Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder), Butterflies (original), Whole Lotta Love (slow version) set break
Set II.
Musicology (Prince), Use Me (Ike and Tina version), Turn Around (ori