Adam Freedman
Gig Seeker Pro

Adam Freedman

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Acoustic

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


International research biologist, Ph.D. candidate at UCLA, world traveler and singer/songwriter. That’s one heck of a combination of potential inspirational sources above and beyond the usual terrain of one’s relationships with others. But Freedman covers that vast wasteland as well in his 10-song debut CD, “Best Laid Plans.” With titles such as “Truly Blind,” “Official Explanation,” “Lottery,” “50 Affirmations” and “Summer Lightning,” Freedman is left to fill-in the blank spaces with artful, intelligent lyrics, lovely melodic soundscapes of violins and violas and enticing musical structuring. “Do Good By You” begins with a lonely piano intro as percussion and bass are roused to join the unfolding acoustic ballad. “Summer Lightning” offers acoustic structures mindful of Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, a light touch of Elvis Costello and other global balladeers.

“Connecticut” presents an up-tempo acoustic base of operations as Freedman emphasizes his lyrical and vocal skills in a reminiscent ditty of earlier days and the passage of time. “At the Mall” is a snapshot of guy meeting a date at the mall as she waits attired in trendy chic clothing along with a Molly Hatchett tee and a feathered roach clip attached to her hat. Sound familiar? That’s just one character making an appearance at the mall in Anytown, USA—“it’s always a sure thing at the mall,” Freedman declares musically. The closing number, “50 Affirmations,” sees Freedman delve into contemporary, fresh indie pop with a bouncy, light-hearted feel.

Freedman demonstrates he has learned almost as much about muisc as he has biology and African heat on “Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong).” Only thing is, I can’t figure out what went wrong. Sounds first-rate to me. Pick it up and see for yourself.

--Anthony Davis
- Texarkana Gazette


Adam Freedman has lived in mud huts in the Cameroon, caught reptiles, tracked bears in the swamps of Florida, surveyed Caribou in Alaska, had guns waved in his face, argued with corrupt policeman, played Lynyrd Skynyrd covers in bars and makes music when he gets a spare moment. Despite all of that, he has aspirations as a musical troubadour.

Born In Detroit, moved to Seattle in 2001 and through a combination of unemployment and lack of money he started to write music.

I’ve had this record for some weeks now and during that time I’ve given it plenty of airtime. Freedman has penned all the songs on this 10-song record and is supported by various musicians on mandolin, synth, cello and violin. Vocally and lyrically Adam mines Elliot Smith, Josh Ritter and Josh Rouse territory but perhaps lacks the melodic strengths of those artists.

As Freedman writes dense lyrics, a lyric sheet would have been useful but that’s a minor quibble. When he does find a good melody on ‘I Could Never Lie’ Adam shows that he has talent. Independently released Adam’s Indie take on life is well worth your time, and it will take time for this record to grow on you.

Best tracks are the excellent ‘At the Mall’ where Molly Hatchet and Ozzie are name checked – with a synth break, rap and heavy metal interlude and the upbeat ’50 affirmations’ which has a chorus for you to grab hold of.

If you are in Texas this summer you can catch Freedman playing numerous low-key venues.

--Andy Riggs - Americana UK


Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) showcases songwriter’s guitar chops.

By Shea Stewart
Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Adam Freedman is a traveling man. Born in Detroit and raised in Cape Cod listening to heavy metal, the biologist/musician has lived a life of escapades: capturing and tracking bears in the swamps of western Florida, surveying caribou in the wilds of Alaska and spending time over the past few years in Cameroon living in mud huts.

Among the adventures, Freedman (currently residing in Los Angeles pursuing a doctorate in biology) found the time to write songs, resulting in the 2007 self-release Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong), a collection of acoustic driven, indie/pop/folk fusion songs.

Produced by Freedman and friend Jason Merritt (who also adds baritone guitar and synthesizer to the album), the sparse arrangements on Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) feature Freedman and his virtuosic acoustic guitar playing as the foundation of most of the songs. Dropping in masterful rhythms and dexterous licks, Freedman is a whiz on the acoustic guitar, shifting between tight fingerpicking and shuffling rhythms. The album thrives when it crosses eclectic acoustic guitar rock, folk and indie pop stylings, and sparkling, intelligent lyrics.

But Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) falters when the songs extend themselves too much, dropping in muddling bridges and wandering off the songs’ tight, melodic structures. It’s a condition that infects the album, even on some of the best songs.

Good: On “Truly Blind,” the album’s opener, Freedman sings of “Gortex kings” and “aluminum siding” over a hard acoustic rhythm that propels the song to its end, a swirl of chorale voices repeating the chorus, surging electric guitar and spiraling keyboards. In less than four minutes, Freedman indicts the spending power of Americans, and it sounds ravishing.

“Official Explanation” encapsulates the beauty of the album with its delightfully gentle guitar introduction, soft cello and violin, noodling electric guitar and witty lyrics such as “And the panhandling punks are bored beyond distraction/Like native New Yorkers transplanted to Nebraska.”

“I Could Never Lie” and “At the Mall” (Love the Paul Simonesque finger snaps; not the ’80s synth pop bridge) are the brightest lyrical moments in an album filled with sharp, poetic jabs.

Bad: Freedman’s songs tend to wander from the main theme, even on some of the best songs such as with “Do Good By You” and “Summer Lightning.” Freedman is such a strong acoustic guitar player it almost sounds like personal sabotage when the songs slip into uncharted territory.

Opening and closing with an amazing display of acoustic guitar playing, “Do Good By You” gallops along at a poppy pace, but stumbles through an electronic wasteland before regaining its motif. “Summer Lightning” is a bluegrass gem, dropping in “mandolin” by Merritt and clever lyrics such as “Where is my home/You know I don’t know where it is/Another cliché of restlessness/Like a bad country song,” but misplaces its focus with a temp-changing bridge.

Must haves: “Truly Blind,” “Official Explanation,” “Summer Lightning,” “Goldfish,” “I Could Never Lie.”

Rating (out of 5): 3

Adam Freedman plays at Juanita’s on Tuesday at 9 p.m. with openers Seth Wihilmi and Jody McCall. Admission is $6. - Sync Weekly (published by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)


As difficult as it seems, wrap your head around the idea of an out-of-work biologist who has had all sorts of misadventures in environments ranging from the rainforest to Alaska, simply moving to Seattle and beginning to write music. Does all of this life experience translate to spectacular acoustic music, or does it simply pale in comparison? The answer lies somewhere in the gray area.

Adam Freedman’s debut album, Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong), seems to be, in theory, a speak-sing social commentary layered in front of a jangly guitar. After a cursory listen, I have to admit I felt a bit bewildered. Somehow this album didn’t quite begin to grow on me until the fourth or fifth listen; even still, I am not sure what to think. The most comprehensive description I can provide is Elliot Smith’s simplicity paired with Andrew Bird’s lyrical proficiency. Freedman kicks the album off with “Truly Blind.” The musicianship beneath the smart, descriptive lyrics is not too impressive, but it isn’t necessarily meant to be. Throughout the album it serves only to complement and occasionally drive the lyrics forward. “Do Good By You” provides the first semblance of well implemented musicianship, particularly in the transfer from a simple piano melody to a quick moving guitar. Unfortunately, I found the chorus to be a tad monotonous; consider the line “whatever you do, better do good by you” sung hurriedly. Where Freedman truly shines is the manner in which he changes key and meter on a dime. “Summer Lightning” and “Goldfish” are both catchy tracks with inspired lyrics. While I can never be sure, “Connecticut”’s lyrics sound close to an autobiography for Freedman, mentioning a few locales described in his own bio. Regardless, this track remains one of the best tracks on the album. “I Could Never Lie” follows in the footsteps of “Connecticut” with its sincerity. Freedman also adds strings into the mix, bringing atmosphere to where there was previously not enough. Heartfelt and earnest, “At the Mall” tells the story of a hook up with a girl “at the mall”; “the one with the feather rose clip/dangling from her Indiana Jones hat/poured herself into acid wash jeans.” The melancholy guitar line that follows Freedman’s voice so well disappears into a more upbeat chorus complete with finger snaps. Unfortunately, there is a rather bizarre interlude strategically placed in the center of this track. I assume that the mixed classical elevator music mixed with an electric solo is supposed to be a clever play on mall music. The transfer back into the original chorus and melancholy guitar line is awkward. Needless to say, the track could have done without that addition.

Now don’t misunderstand me. Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) is a respectable album. Freedman has shown his knack for clever, yet elegant lyrics. I expect that future releases will build on this specific attribute. However, there are some additions, both lyrically and musically, that are rather awkwardly implemented. For someone who has been playing Lynyrd Skynyrd covers at dive bars, it signifies a step up. Adam Freedman has proved himself as inventive as many of his influences. Innovation has to begin somewhere.

--Mark Pranger - Independent Clauses


As difficult as it seems, wrap your head around the idea of an out-of-work biologist who has had all sorts of misadventures in environments ranging from the rainforest to Alaska, simply moving to Seattle and beginning to write music. Does all of this life experience translate to spectacular acoustic music, or does it simply pale in comparison? The answer lies somewhere in the gray area.

Adam Freedman’s debut album, Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong), seems to be, in theory, a speak-sing social commentary layered in front of a jangly guitar. After a cursory listen, I have to admit I felt a bit bewildered. Somehow this album didn’t quite begin to grow on me until the fourth or fifth listen; even still, I am not sure what to think. The most comprehensive description I can provide is Elliot Smith’s simplicity paired with Andrew Bird’s lyrical proficiency. Freedman kicks the album off with “Truly Blind.” The musicianship beneath the smart, descriptive lyrics is not too impressive, but it isn’t necessarily meant to be. Throughout the album it serves only to complement and occasionally drive the lyrics forward. “Do Good By You” provides the first semblance of well implemented musicianship, particularly in the transfer from a simple piano melody to a quick moving guitar. Unfortunately, I found the chorus to be a tad monotonous; consider the line “whatever you do, better do good by you” sung hurriedly. Where Freedman truly shines is the manner in which he changes key and meter on a dime. “Summer Lightning” and “Goldfish” are both catchy tracks with inspired lyrics. While I can never be sure, “Connecticut”’s lyrics sound close to an autobiography for Freedman, mentioning a few locales described in his own bio. Regardless, this track remains one of the best tracks on the album. “I Could Never Lie” follows in the footsteps of “Connecticut” with its sincerity. Freedman also adds strings into the mix, bringing atmosphere to where there was previously not enough. Heartfelt and earnest, “At the Mall” tells the story of a hook up with a girl “at the mall”; “the one with the feather rose clip/dangling from her Indiana Jones hat/poured herself into acid wash jeans.” The melancholy guitar line that follows Freedman’s voice so well disappears into a more upbeat chorus complete with finger snaps. Unfortunately, there is a rather bizarre interlude strategically placed in the center of this track. I assume that the mixed classical elevator music mixed with an electric solo is supposed to be a clever play on mall music. The transfer back into the original chorus and melancholy guitar line is awkward. Needless to say, the track could have done without that addition.

Now don’t misunderstand me. Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) is a respectable album. Freedman has shown his knack for clever, yet elegant lyrics. I expect that future releases will build on this specific attribute. However, there are some additions, both lyrically and musically, that are rather awkwardly implemented. For someone who has been playing Lynyrd Skynyrd covers at dive bars, it signifies a step up. Adam Freedman has proved himself as inventive as many of his influences. Innovation has to begin somewhere.

--Mark Pranger - Independent Clauses


Discography

2007: Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) , LP length

Photos

Bio

Adam was born in Detroit and grew up on Cape Cod, where he listened to heavy metal and went fishing. He's lived in mud huts in Cameroon, ran around the rainforest catching reptiles, survived head-on collisions with 10-ton trucks and malaria, gotten drunk on palm wine with village chiefs, had guns waved in his face, and argued with well-armed, corrupt policemen. In the U.S., he caught and tracked bears in the swamps of western Florida, surveyed caribou on the North Slope of Alaska, and played Lynyrd Skynyrd covers in dive bars in exchange for beer and crawfish.

He moved to Seattle in 2001, where through a combination of unemployment, sleep deprivation, and coffee, he started writing music. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002, where he released his first CD, 'Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong)' in 2007, and received a Ph.D. in biology from UCLA a few years later. He currently lives in Boston, where he is a research fellow at Harvard University.

What's been said:

"Beautiful and driving indie pop." --Insomnia Radio: SoCal, Pocast #11

"Elliott Smith's simplicity paired with Andrew Bird's lyrical proficiency"--Independent Clauses

"Adam Freedman showcases his indie pop jazz fusion that recounts the genius of the seamless rock-to-jazz-and-back shifts from the early 90's Nashville band 'Clockhammer'."--Insomnia Radio, Double Shot w/Chaser

"He makes a punchy brand of acoustic music built on smart lyrics and a rocking foundation."--San Antonio Express-News

"Freedman weaves his amazing life stories into his music with entertaining and profound results."--Boulder Weekly, 7.26.07

"...even if deconstructed to its basic, talky folk core, Freedman definitely is worth checking out."--The Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA), July 2007

"Music so fresh it's almost indescribable...an eclectic Paul Simon quality with a hard-edged kick...absolutely wails on the acoustic." --Live Magazine

Past Venues Played:
--Genghis Cohen (West Hollywood, CA)
--Cafe Tazza (Taos, NM)
--Laughing Goat (Boulder, CO)
--PJ's (Manhattan, KS)
--Gaslight Tavern (Lawrence, KS)
--Black Dog Coffeehouse (Lenexa, KS)
--The Artichoke (Wichita, KS)
--The Blue Note (Oklahoma City, OK)
--Juanita's (Little Rock, AR)
--Courtyard Coffee (Shreveport, LA)
--KSCL 91.3 FM (Shreveport, LA)
--Banter (Denton, TX)
--Cinema 218 (Texarkana, TX)
--Checkpoint Charlie's (New Orleans, LA)
--Artmosphere (Lafayette, LA)
--Cafe Soleil (Houston, TX)
--Ruta Maya Riverwalk (San Antonio, TX)
--Ruta Maya (Austin, TX)
--Java Dave's Coffee (El Paso, TX)
--Mama Java's Coffeehouse (Phoenix, AZ)
--Red Room (Tucson, AZ)
--KXCI 91.3 FM (Tucson, AZ)
--Java Dave's Coffee (El Paso, TX)
--Knitting Factory (Los Angeles, CA)
--Room 5 (Los Angeles, CA)
--The Mint (Los Angeles, CA)
--The Joint (Los Angeles, CA)
--Tempest (Los Angeles, CA)
--Rainbow Bar and Grill (Los Angeles, CA)
--Psychobabble Coffeehouse (Los Angeles, CA)
--Karma Coffeehouse (Los Angeles, CA)
--Harmony Sweet (Simi Valley, CA)
--College Coffeehouse (Fairbanks, Alaska)
--Coffee Messiah (Seattle, WA)
--Mr. Spot's Chai House (Seattle, WA)
--KUAC 89.9 FM (Fairbanks, AK)

Podcasts and radio appearances:

Songs off of Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong) have appeared in podcasts by Insomnia Radio: San Francisco, Insomnia Radio:SoCal, the TLP show, and Green Frog (Liverpool, UK). Live radio performances include NPR affiliates in Tuscon, AZ and Fairbanks, AK and miscellaneous college radio stations.