Welcome to Fat Knuckle Freddy! FKF is a composer, guitarist and a songwriter. FKF plays and composes American Primitive Music, Music Noir and Demon Graveyard Blues. FKF plays Fretless Slide (Octave Bass) Guitars, 3 & 4 String Cigar Box Guitars, Baritone Guitar, Fretless Acoustic Guitar, Archtop Guitar,  Resonator Guitar, and the Shovelcaster.

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.

  1. Flatbroke Blues

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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."