Freeman Vines

Making Guitars & Sense of the World

Freeman Vines photographed by Jeffery Minnish, Fountain, April 2021

Freeman Vines, a long-time Fountain resident, is a blues musician, luthier, author and philosopher. Most days, he’s at work on a guitar at Music Maker East’s downtown Fountain workshop/studio.

Freeman came to the attention of Music Maker’s Tim Duffy by way of another Fountain musician, Lightnin’ Wells, who has worked with Music Maker and several of its legendary blues musicians for over 20 years.

Freeman has recently had published his first book, Hanging Tree Guitars, and his handmade guitars and wood sculptures were the featured for several recent months at the Greenville Museum of Art. 

It opens at the Southeastern  Center for Contemporary Arts in Winston-Salem with a reception on June 10, 2021 and runs through September 12.

Freeman is the brother of the legendary local gospel group the Vines Sisters, also known as the Glorifying Vines, who got their first European tour a couple of years ago through arrangements with Music Maker. Freeman almost got to England last year to view the opening of the first gallery show that featured some of his guitars.

In addition to the local buzz over his show at the Greenville Museum of Art, Freeman has generated a lot of copy in the last year or so, with features in Rolling Stone, the Smithsonian, Our State, and on NPR, and he gets plenty of visitors. In early April the photographer Jeffery Minnish, who lives in Durham, stopped by and took several excellent pictures of him. A Goldsboro native, Minnish specializes in portraits of musicians, cowboys, street folk, and dancers, and his webpage is lots of fun to browse.

Freeman Vines photographed by Jeffery Minnish, Fountain, April 2021

 

We don’t get to hear Mr. Vines perform often around here, but early in the pandemic, spring 2020, he was messing around with one of his newly constructed guitars, and I was able to capture this little tune:

Alex Albright
April 2021

Freeman Vines photographed by Jeffery Minnish, Fountain, April 2021