Welcome to Fat Knuckle Freddy!

Fat Knuckle Freddy is not your typical artist as he has a split musical personality.

Personality One is as a solo guitarist playing acoustic guitar, specifically a National M1 Baritone Tricone, and cigar box guitars in the style of American Primitive, which was coined by the late John Fahey. The music is intimate while being "hauntingly beautiful" at the same time. FKF uses a slide to obtain the true primitive sound while incorporating influences from classical composers.

Personality Two is a singer and slide guitarist playing fretless and cigar box guitars with a drummer. The duo is a cross between rock -n- roll and blues known as Graveyard Blues or Demon Crossroad Blues. FKF's fretless guitars are unique as they have a bass string added to the open tuning, which fills out the duo's sound and gives the illusion of a bass player. The influences for the duo are Mississippi Fred McDowell, Hound Dog Taylor and The House Rockers, RL Burnside, John Lee Hooker and Black Sabbath. The duo is known for playing three hour sets without a break. They are the bastard sons of Hound Dog Taylor and Black Sabbath.

Fat Knuckle Freddy's split personalities do not play together. They require different venues and settings.

Fat Knuckle Freddy got his name when he broke and dislocated his fretboard pinkie at the middle knuckle. It's now the size of a thumb knuckle and points a few degrees outward. This gives FKF a little extra stretch on the fretboard but he mostly covers it with his stunning slide.


FKF's new release "Angels On Your Pillow, Devils In My Head" now available on Bandcamp! 

Sweet Requiems On A Hot Summer Night. 

"Sweet Requiems On A Hot Summer Night" features all instrumentals, mostly on a 3 string cigar box guitar. One track is for 4 string cigar box guitar. The Bollard stated the music was "hauntingly beautiful." 

Aimsel Ponti's Review of Fat Knuckle Freddy in Maine Today, Portland Press Herald 

Face the Music with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: November 24, 2015


Fat Knuckle Freddy

Fat Knuckle Freddy

You can call him Al if you must, but Al Giusto’s moniker these days is Fat Knuckle Freddy. He adopted this name when he broke and dislocated his fretboard pinkie at the middle knuckle. Said knuckle is bigger than it should be, and it points a few degrees outward. The silver lining is that it gives him a little extra stretch on the fretboard and one hell of a clever name.

Fat Knuckle Freddy is a composer, instrumentalist and songwriter. He plays and composes primitive American music in styles he describes as “music noir” and “porch-stomping, bone-rattling blues.” He plays baritone guitar, fretless guitar, resonator guitar, Weissenborn lap steel guitar, acoustic guitar and perhaps most interestingly, three- and four-string cigar box guitars. He mostly plays slide guitar with a bottleneck and sometimes standard, finger-picking style.

But these are just words, albeit it ones that made me want to throw my headphones on immediately and get down to business with “The Torn Labrum, Bone Spur, Lazy Boy Sessions: 3 String Cigar Box Guitar Instrumentals.” And so on a recent frosty Wednesday morning I did just that and was it ever worth it. The first song was “Up & Happy” and it was a chill meditation of a song. I had no idea that a guitar made out of a cigar box and with only three strings could make such a distinct, arresting sound. But this is not Giusto’s first rodeo. His music has been on my radar since his days playing under the name Meantone, purveyor of graveyard blues. He’s got mad skills, and this Fat Knuckle Freddy project is yet another shining example. “Down & Disgusted” is a mesmerizing track that I hoped was without end. “Torn Labrum” is 11 tracks long and, as each one passed through my ears, the spell was cast deeper. Fat Knuckle Freddy’s performance at Blue is to celebrate the fact that “Torn Labrum” is ready for download on iTunes, Amazon, Pandora and Spotify. This means you can feast your ears in advance and then come out on Tuesday night to hear the tunes in the flesh, clink congratulatory glasses with Giusto and gaze upon the fat knuckle yourself.

Fat Knuckle Freddy, 7 p.m. Tuesday. Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland, free (pass the hat). portcityblue.com


Fat Knuckle Freddy Live on WMPG Local Motives, Portland, ME 

Here's a video clip of a performance on WMPG's Local Motives, Portland, ME, www.wmpg.org. Local Motives is a radio show that features local musicians. The song is "Kick Your Ball" from my latest release, "The Torn Labrum, Bone Spur and Lazy Boy Sessions" played on a 3 string cigar box guitar though a Quilter Mach 2. 

The Torn Labrum Sessions  

In the summer of 2015, I had an operation for a torn labrum and bone spur on my right hip. After the operation, my lazy boy was my home. I had my digital recorder next to me and my trusty 3 String Cigar Box Guitar. I love the sound from my 3 banger aka CBG and wasn't able to play any other guitar. I recorded and mixed my first release, "The Torn Labrum, Bone Spur, Lazy Boy Sessions." 

Fat Knuckle Freddy was born. It took a little over a week from start to finish. I'm currently working on a new recording. What guitar or guitars I'll use, I'm not sure yet. I'm hoping to feature my baritone guitar.

Stay out of tune.


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Stay up to date on Fat Knuckle Freddy's music releases, events and shows!

Previous events

Fat Knuckle Freddy at Amigos!

Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 9 Dana St, Portland

The final show at Amigos on the patio. It's the fall but it's nice. Young Brett on drums. The official goodbye to the Summer Patio Series. Original Graveyard Blues. "This ain't your Grandaddy's blues, kid."

Fat Knuckle Freddy at Amigos!

Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 9 Dana St, Portland

FKF will be live on the Amigos Patio for the Summer Series. Bone Shaking, Original Demon Graveyard Blues. Watch us play non-stop for three hours. BB Webber on drums. This show will be filmed for posterity purposes. FREE!!!!!!!

Pinups For Pitbulls

Broken Crow Collective, 594 Congress St, Portland, Me 04101

Join us as we celebrate the release of the Pinups for Pitbulls 2018 Calendar featuring Jolene DiVine, along with her dog Marty McFly! Jolene is the very first from Maine to be chosen as a PFPB Brand Ambassador and has worked hard over the past year as Team Leader, creating her own advocacy team and participating in events to further the mission of Pinups for Pitbulls.

Meet Jolene DiVine and her team of volunteers, purchase the 2018 calendar and have it signed! We're also planning a silent art auction, local libations and musical entertainment from Fat Knuckle Freddy! Stay tuned for more info.

About... Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that works to educate the public about the history and temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier and pit bull-type dogs and to raise awareness about Breed Specific Legislation and Discriminatory Laws. Our mission is to reestablish the defamed reputation of pit bull-type dogs as America’s premiere companion animal, war hero and therapy dog. FMI: www.pinupsforpitbulls.org

Hi-FI/Lo-Fi Dual CD Release! W/ Clara Junken & Meanmugg

Portland House Of Music, 25 Temple St, Portland, ME 04101

Fat Knuckle Freddy's Dual CD Release Show With Clara Junken & Meanmugg. Featuring Timothy "BB" Webber on drums. Tickets $8 advanced. $10 Day of show. 21+. 9: FKF solo with Shovelcaster (Lo-Fi) 10:Clara Junken 11: FKF w/ BB Webber (Hi-Fi) 12:Meanmugg FKF is releasing two CD's. "Target On MY Chest" is with BB Webber on drums and FKF playing cigar box guitars, one fretless, one fretted baritone. "Dig My Blues" is solo with all tunes on the Shovelcatser, 3 string shovel guitar. Don't miss this event.

Fat Knuckle Freddy

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WMPG Local Motives, Radio 90.9, Portland

I'll be performing live on WMPG's Local Motives both solo and with a drummer playing songs from Sweet Requiems On A Hot Summer Night and Angels On Your Pillow/Devils In My Head. 90.9 in the greater Portland area or stream at www.wmpg.org

Fat Knuckle Freddy

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Blue, 650A Congress St, Portland, ME

Last First Tuesday before switching to second Friday in April. Solo 12 string, weissenborn, fretless, baritone or 3 string cigar box guitars. Maybe some vocals too.

Fat Knuckle Freddy CD Release!!!

Blue, 650A Congress St, Portland, ME

Fat Knuckle Freddy will be releasing his new recording "Sweet Requiems On A Hot Summer Night" on 9/21/16 at Blue. FKF will be joined by the following fabulous musicians: Samuel James, D. Gross & Frank Fotusky. We will be trading mini sets and then ending with a song together.