Tom Freund
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Tom Freund


Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"New York times"

Album chosen as #3 by Ann Powers in her annual round up:

"Every year the mounting landfill of new releases that threatens to bury the working music journalists yields a few unexpected gems, and Tom Freund's 'North American Long Weekend' is one of them."
-Ann Powers, The New York Times

- Ann Powers


The intentional nod to authenticity theme-coats former Silo's bassist Tom Freund's debut. It strips down to bare and beautiful melodies, lean lyrics and the kind of hometown heartaches that Springsteen's 'Nebraska' left you with - only Freund weaves in strings and piano, giving them a sort of velvety-hay feel. It's an organic, yet lush, rush."
-Hits Magazine

- Hit List

"New York Post"

"North American Long Weekend' would make a fitting soundtrack to 'On the Road': Gorgeous wide-open spacious scenes, explorations of the young heart and quests from personal truth unfold in its 14 literate, rootsy songs."
-New York Post - New York Post



Journeyman Freund is soundtrack ready
By Randy Abramson
Updated: 1:55 p.m. ET Jan. 14, 2005

In 1979, Graham Parker notoriously flipped the bird at his former label, Mercury Records, by writing the scathing tune, “Mercury Poisoning.”  The venomous attack couldn’t have been nastier with lyrics like, “Their promotion’s so lame / They could never ever take it to the real ball game.” 

These days, battles between artist and label are commonplace, but way before Prince was scrawling the word, “Slave” on his cheek, Parker was drawing up the blueprint for future corporation dissers.  Unfortunately, Parker may have been the one who was hurt the most from “Poisoning.” He still puts out strong records that collect critical praise, but he has fallen from major labels’ good graces. Parker now puts out records on labels like Bloodshot and his own Up Yours! Records.

Early on singer/songwriter Tom Freund’s new “Copper Moon” CD, we hear an attempt to reopen the Mercurial battles of years gone by. On “Mercury,” Freund spits, “I’m not into takin’ the progress that you’re makin’, I’m not much into consumerism.”  Package these jabs with the fact that Freund is Graham Parker’s touring bass player and that Tom was once himself on a Mercury subsidiary label, Red Ant, and you can only guess that this album is going to be laced with payback rants. But fortunately, both for the record and for Freund’s career, the acid reflux stops there. Even better news is that Freund has found a more positive way to be Parkeresque: he made an album that is all at once addictive, stylistically diverse and honest to the core.

Freund has been a journeyman on the pop music landscape. He first teamed up with Ben Harper in 1992 and the duo released one album together. His next stint was with The Silos as their bass player, followed by the release of his “North American Long Weekend” solo record on the Red Ant label and “Sympatico,” which was released on his own Surf Road Records. “Copper Moon,” Freund’s third album (also on Surf Road), benefits from the experience of all of his musical travels.

The album’s first song and title track emerges with guitar cries that hearken back to the sound that made U2’s “The Joshua Tree” unforgettable.  It closes with another moon song, “New Moon of the 7 th Sun,” whose piano and orchestra arrangement is a subtle throwback to The Beatles’, “Let It Be.”

In between are songs that nestle other pop references (doesn’t “Babysitter (I’ll Watch Her)”sound a bit like Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”?), but Freund’s deadpan voice and phrasing make his offerings truly unique. And daring. Few artists would insert a tempo-halting chorus into a standup bass driven jazz song the way Freund and his production team does on, “Comfortable In Your Arms.” The move is disruptive and in most hands the song would be a disaster. Instead, it just sounds right. 

Not to be outdone on the wordage side of things, Freund laces his songs with tales that are revealing and compact.  Self-examining lyrics like, “You learn the term bachelor / From many generations of unhappy men,” (on “C’est La Vie”) paint a colorful picture of this songwriter’s lovelorn psyche. His lyrics are lean and trimmed of all the fat that a lesser skilled tunesmith may have failed to remove. 

There is also a bright side of “Copper Moon” where songs like “October Girl” and the aforementioned, “Babysitter (I’ll Watch Them)” burst with radio-ready pop catchiness.  Either song would easily fit in to any FM adult format lineup, and bolster it to boot. Should commercial radio shy away, soundtrack producers, who continue to surface so much great indie music, should jump on these gems.  For an artist like Freund, having success come from your songs being used as background music to say, a make out scene on “The OC” may be hard to swallow, but it sure as hell beats the isolating effects of “Mercury Poisoning.” 

For more information on Tom Freund, visit .
- MSNBC - Randy Abramson

"Top 12 DIY Picks"

Top 12 DIY Picks
DIY Record Reviews by Mare Wakefield

Tom Freund
Copper Moon
Freund crosses pop songs with lullabies on his third independent release, Copper Moon. The title track lolls in a gentle nostalgia.“There was a time
when the only trouble was deciding what trouble to get in,” sings Freund, reminding listeners of their own childhoods.

In “C’est La Vie,” Freund serenades us with a gorgeous ode to the lonely,
his voice rising effortlessly on the chorus.
The lone rocker of the album is the Bowie-like “Slipping on Mercury,”
complete with obscure lyrics: “Everybody’s got a method / To get you to the nexus,” sings Freund as drums and electric guitar drive the beat.

Freund is known for his talents as a stand-up bassist, so it’s not
surprising that his bass lines play an important role on the album, guiding
songs with low melodies that provide beautiful cohesion throughout the
entire collection. - PERFORMING SONGWRITER


Tom Freund
Copper Moon
Surf Road Records (Santa Monica, CA)

By Zach Peterson

Tom Freund has an impressive resume. He has played in a duo with Ben Harper, toured with The Silos and has references such as Graham Parker (who calls Freund, next to Lucinda Williams, his favorite working songwriter) and Victoria Williams praising his work.

Copper Moon is Freund's third full-length release, and the record is a culmination of Waitsian jive and SoCal singer-songwriter fare with a stubborn pop sophistication. If this description makes little sense, that's because you just have to hear it.

At first listen, I didn't make much of Freund's latest offering. But after a couple more spins and a more a-tune ear, I found a surprisingly clever, cohesive and subtly remarkable album.

Freund's voice is somewhere between a rougher-around-edges ersion of Josh Rouse and a more forceful Joe Henry. Lyrically, he falls between Rouse and Henry as well. In "C'est La Vie" Freund muses:

You want your space and eat it too
But look how far that's gotten you in the past Not very far

Or take another example from "Married to Laughter":

She fares well in the quakes and the floods and the fires
They're part of her moods
Says her prayers to the man upstairs
But the one below intrudes

The mixture of sincerity and irreverence works a delicate but steady balance throughout Copper Moon. Beginning with the title track and ending with "New Moon of the 7th Sun"; which features a tasteful string arrangement by Jerry Yester, the 11-track record changes styles, but never gears. Freund handles the majority of the production duties himself and brings an eclectic dynamic to his lovelorn and road-weary lyricism.

The last verse of the final song, "New Moon of the 7th Sun" reads:
Like a frozen river lets go of its icy bounds I have come alive and run to the sound Of your tune.

As the ice melts this spring, Tom Freund has a made another record that challenges listeners to have the patience to hear the subtle masterpieces this artist crafts. - Zach Peterson

"a Delightfully Impulsive Tom Freund""

"At Iota, a Delightfully Impulsive Tom Freund"

Wednesday, July 21, 2004; Page C08

It was shaping up to be a bad night Monday for Tom Freund at
Iota. The California troubadour, who confessed that "I'm in
an [expletive] mood tonight," couldn't find his harmonicas.
But contracts have to be fulfilled, so Freund and company
took the stage -- and pretty much ran with it.

Freund clearly delights in enigma. His vocals could go from
laconic to impassioned without such obvious trickery as
cranking up the volume. His lyrics were full of curveballs:
In "Copper Moon," the title track of his latest album, he
mused: "I guess we'll keep this old house on the edge of
town / That way I can call on you when you're not around." At
times he played his acoustic guitar as if it were electric.
And partway through the set, he discarded it to play some
funky upright bass.

Freund had fine support from lap-steel player and bassist
Drew Glackin, with whom he'd played in the Silos and,
recently, Graham Parker's Twang Three, and from percussionist
Matt Johnson, who has worked with Jeff Buckley and Rufus
Wainwright. Bassist John Young also joined the group on
several numbers. Glackin and Young were subtle, Johnson
aggressive, furthering the sense that Freund delighted in
reconciling opposites.

A few songs in, a pleasant surprise: A bartender presented
Freund with the missing harmonica bag. Later,
during "Business of Knowing," a magnificent jalopy of musical
parts -- meditative lap steel, penetrating percussion,
brooding vocals -- Freund grabbed a harmonica to wail on a
few bars at what sounded like the end of the song. Then the
ensemble upshifted into a lengthy, big-rock finish. "I'm not
in the business of knowing just what I'm gonna do," Freund
sang. So much the better for his listeners.

-- Pamela Murray Winters

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

- Washington Post

"L.A. Weekly"

"While Ben Harper found success with his folkie soul, Tom Freund has looked more to the Tom Waits school of the raspy sing-talk, and after two solid albums on his own Surf Road Records, his Copper Moon is set to get him the recognition he deserves."
- L.A. Weekly
- L.A. Weekly


AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Tom Freund is indeed one of the great singer-songwriters of the 1990's. He emerged in 1998 with an excellent debut album on Red Ant Records, North American Long Weekend. That album presented his awesome talent to the world with clarity and a subtle vision. Freund's songs are loaded with a pragmatic vision and are sung in a distinct Tom Waits-influenced growl. Imitation, however, is not what Freund is about. This, his follow-up CD on his own label gives us a further and even more mature example of his vision.
"Seat On A Train" and "Bombshell" are fantastic tracks, but Freund saves the best for last with "Sympatico", where he constructs a unique world, defines it, and then burns it to the ground. Truly unique and absolutely brilliant.
- Matthew Greenwald
- All Music Guide- Matthew Greenwald

"Graham Parker"

"Along with Lucinda Williams, Freund is the best singer/songwriter operating today."
- Graham Parker
- Graham Parker


1. Ben Harper and Tom Freund's early rare/collector, "Pleasure and Pain" was released in 1993 on Cardas Records
2. His debut solo record, "North American Long Weekend" (1998) was on the illustrious Red Ant (Mercury) label with "Digs" (featuring the legendary jazz organist, Jimmy Smith) as heard on WB's "Felicity."
3. "Sympatico" (2001), as featured on NPR Weekend Edition and live set on KCRW (based out of Santa Monica) in CA on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" with Tom as one of Music Director/DJ Nic Harcourt's featured artists
4. "LA Fundamentalist Music", EP featuring 2 tracks in Sundance movie "Me and Will," in "12 Bucks" and 2 national PSAs for child abuse
5. "Copper Moon," 2004 completed/released record with prominent, popular tracks "Run Like That" featured in NBC's "Las Vegas," "I Don't Wanna Wait" on ABC's "The Days," and "Trondheim" and "Copper Moon" on the WB's "One Tree Hill"
6. "Sweet Affection" (Surf Road Records, 2005), Tom Freund & Co., featuring duets w/ Victoria Williams, new studio tracks, & 5 live tracks from Sweet Relief Benefit
7. "Collapsible Plans" (Surf Road Records, 2008)
Produced by his longtime friend Ben Harper, and featuring piano and vocal contributions from Jackson Browne on two tracks. Received airplay on Austin's KGSR and KUT as well as KCRW LA.
8. "Fit to Screen" (Surf Road Records, 2010) 2 of these songs recieved airplay on KCRW and were featured in NBC's Parenthood
9. "The Edge of Venice" (Surf Road Records 2011) The album is produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Dave Mathews) and features some of LA's finest musicians joining Tom in these 9 new songs from the song-writer's arsenal.



It’s in the seemingly effortless ease with which he delivers his conversational lyrics and mellifluous melodies, this natural magic that is at the heart of Tom Freund’s music. Though he’s well-schooled and widely-traveled in a variety of genres — from heartfelt folk to buoyant pop to boho jazz to straightforward rock ’n’ roll, and beyond — Freund ultimately comes across simply as a singer-songwriter with his own singularly distinctive and engaging voice.
Tom Freund's latest release, The Edge of Venice, is produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews) and features of some of LA’s finest musicians joining Tom in these 9 new songs. “The Edge Of Venice” comes in the wake of his latest EP “Fit To Screen” whose songs have been featured in this seasons “Parenthood” on NBC; and his latest full length “Collapsible Plans” which was produced by his musical cohort Ben Harper and features piano and vocal contributions from Jackson Browne on two tracks. The song “Collaspible Plans (Sugar) was seen performed live on “Last Call With Carson Daly” in January of 09.
Freund will also be touring in the coming months in support of The Edge of Venice. He will be playing in the US September through October, with tours of Europe and Japan in November. Details on tour dates are to be determined. Freund will also be playing European dates with Ben Harper including the Blue Balls Festival in Switzerland on July 28 and Monte Carlo on August 1st.
“I feel that (The Edge) is my most direct album to date,” says Freund. “Direct to the listeners in a sonic sense and transparent to what is going on in my life right now.” The songs cover such topics as endless touring (Lakeshore Drive) and cell phones, or lack thereof (Show Me The Love), relationships (Everything, Lonesome) and even his recent step into parenthood (Daddy’s Song). The nod to Venice comes mostly in the breezy “Wounded Surfer Boy” – about whom Freund shares, “I have seen more than a few in the neighborhood – and the girls that trail after them.” The subtle beauty of “Sweetly Calling My Name” evokes an even further westerly feel with references to Hawaii and a slack key tuning on his guitar with hauntingly beautiful vocal help from LA singer-songwriter friend Meiko. “Firetrucks” is what Freund called the “centerpiece of the record” – written on a moody rainy night in San Francisco when his buddy Brett Dennen gently advised him to “stay in and write!” Freund admits he hasn’t a clue where the album opener “Cruel Cruel World” came from.
Freund spent the mid-’90s touring with the indie rock cult faves The Silos and has been releasing solo albums since 1998. Since then, Freund has alternated between recording and touring behind his own discs (2001’s Sympatico and 2005’ s Copper Moon, plus a couple of EPs) and playing upright bass, electric bass guitar, and mandolin with the likes of British pub-rock great Graham Parker and rising groove-soul sensationBrett Dennen. (You’ll even find him on a couple of tracks from pop star Mandy Moore’s 2007 disc Wild Hope.)
The  New York Times once noted on Tom,  ”Every year the mounting landfill of new releases that threatens to bury the working music journalists yields a few unexpected gems, and Tom Freund is one of them.”

QUOTES on Tom Freund:

“Every year the mounting landfill of new releases that threatens to bury the working music journalists yields a few unexpected gems, and Tom Freund is one of them.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

“A fitting soundtrack to ‘On the Road’: Gorgeous wide-open spacious scenes, explorations of the young heartand quests from personal truth unfold in its literate, rootsy songs.” -NEW YORK POST

“Freund clearly delights in enigma. His vocals could go from laconic to impassioned without such obvious trickery as cranking up the volume. His lyrics are full of curveballs.” – WASHINGTON POST

“Journeyman Freund is soundtrack ready. He made an album that is all at once addictive, stylistically diverse and honest to the core.” -MSNBC

“An organic collection of songs and stories, breathing with an acoustic richness and lyrics that capture slices of Americana in a way that many attempt, yet very few actually master.” – NO DEPRESSION

“If Tom Petty and Nick Drake had a love child.” – BLOGCRITICS.COM

“Tom Freund is indeed one of the great singer-songwriters. He constructs a unique world, defines it, and then burns it to the ground. Truly unique and absolutely brilliant.” – ALL MUSIC GUIDE

“I get shivers down my spine on almost every tune. Along with Lucinda Williams, Freund is the best singer/songwriter operating today.” – GRAHAM PARKER