Tommy Freed and the Sound
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Tommy Freed and the Sound

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Tommy Freed and the Sound - Come On Shining"

5 stars out of 5

A group with this strong of a debut album is surely worthy of attention. Self-labeled as psychedelic soul, Tommy Freed and the Sound exude the confidence and energy of a band with a well-established comfort zone, and the balls to step outside of it. Dreamy, yet sometimes explosive, riffs sit beneath the smooth vocal tracks of front man/guitars Tommy Freed and gospel-funk-inspired bass lines. Come On Shining is consistently accessible, though with a perfect amount of fuzz, as if flowing quickly, comfortably before plunging, sometimes without warning, beneath the surface to a Tame Impala psychedelia. Though it is compensated for in the band’s live performance, the album’s only shortcoming may be an underutilization of Gabby Gutierrez-Reed on vocals – her lead on “The Ocean” combined with blissful, faraway instrumentals, pushes the track into the most impressive of Come On Shining. - Scene Magazine

"Download Tommy Freed and The Sound’s “Friends,” only in Steal This Track"

On July 10, after nearly two years as a band and a handful of singles, Denver’s Tommy Freed and The Sound will release its debut album, “Come on Shining,” with a show at the Gothic Theatre. For perspective, when the band made its live debut in the Fall of 2013, it sold out the Meadowlark. Listening to the album, you can see why this band has a popular live draw: This is an audience friendly band with a dedication to performing live. Need proof? They have a full-time lighting tech that even travels with them.

But more than a light show, the sound of The Sound is audience friendly because most people can recognize it. At its core, its blues rock, but don’t expect any BB King tributes. This is blues that has traveled through the decades since the origins of rock ‘n roll and picked up sounds by the handfuls along the way. Washed reverb and spacey keys lend it a bit of psychedelia, but Freed’s soulful voice and the danceable groove beats keep it grounded.

Despite drawing from musical styles throughout the decades, the band manages to find enough cohesion to prevent it from being a quiltwork of styles, and they follow their own vision, preventing this from being nostalgic rock. And of course, there’s the lights at the live show. - Hey Reverb

"Get to know a Denver band: Tommy Freed and the Sound"

“We really just wanna be a great rock band, and sure rock bands are a dime a dozen, but in my opinion rock has really suffered in recent decades,” commented frontman of, vocalist, and guitar player with Tommy Freed and the Sound in a recent interview. “And it's been so categorized. I'm violently optimistic, and I really try to convey that in the feel and the lyrics.” Celebrating the release of their debut album, Come On Shining, this Friday, July 10 at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood, the band’s current lineup came together at the end of last summer and has been hard at work creating new tunes and performing live as a group. Freed along with Gabby Gutierrez-Reed (vocals) and BK Kahn (drums) spoke with AXS for this exclusive Q&A.

AXS: Are you Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Tommy Freed: I think only Mitch Frank [keys] and BK Kahn [drums] were born here. I'm from upstate New York and moved here when I was 6 years old, and Brad Waller [bass] is originally from St. Louis. Gabby Gutierrez-Reed [vocals] just moved here from San Diego maybe three years ago.
Gabby Gutierrez-Reed: I’ve spent the majority of my life in San Diego. Yes, the Mexican food is amazing and the summer love is like no other, but I’ve grown fonder of those perfect camping trips in the Colorado Mountains. More so, I’ve fallen in love with Denver’s friendly atmosphere full of authentically talented people. I discovered who I was in Denver and have embedded myself in a community that will be a part of my life forever.

AXS: What brought Tommy Freed and the Sound together?
Tommy: Well, Mitch and I had been performing together for a few years in various projects. Then sometime in 2012 Mitch saw Gabby sing at the Meadowlark and invited her over to jam with us. Ever since then Gabby and I have grown a strong vocal relationship. Our rhythm section was never terribly consistent until Brad and BK came in, that for us marks the real beginning of the band.

AXS: How long has Tommy Freed and the Sound been together? What have you learned during that time?
Tommy: We initially got together in the fall of 2013, but for us it really started when the current lineup got together at the end of last summer. The energy that Brad and BK bring to the group is unreal.
BK Kahn: Brad Waller and I have been part of this project for about the past 10 months, and in that time I've seen a real development in the cohesion of the group, both personally and musically. Meeting Tom for the first time, there was certainly an instant understanding of how the music should sound; it made the transition, for me, incredibly smooth. As the band has played more and more gigs, I feel like we have all dug in deeply into the minutiae of all the parts, but we've also found places where we can stretch the music beyond what Tom envisioned at the genesis of the song. In this band, I've learned a lot about the flexible nature of songwriting, and how every time we play a song, it kind of takes on a life of it's own...we can kind of ride an improvisational wave sometimes; if we stick the landing, then that might become a composed part of the song. It's an ongoing process.

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Tommy: Our debut was at the Meadowlark, it was one of those nights with no cover charge and we packed the house. All the friends and family came out and it was a blast. It really is Denver's most intimate venue, and the perfect send off for a fledgling band.

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired Tommy Freed and the Sound?
Tommy: For me Sunboy has been a huge influence, in part because both me and Brad perform with them. And it's not so much their sound that influences us as it is their approach. Justin and Jordan (from Sunboy) were a huge help with the production of our record and seeing their process has really helped me to navigate the ever changing landscape of digital production.

AXS: What projects are Tommy Freed and the Sound currently working on?
Tommy: We just got done with our debut record, and we'll be releasing it on Friday, July 10th at the Gothic Theater. We've released a few singles, but this really marks the beginning for us.

AXS: What else is Tommy Freed and the Sound involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Tommy: I play in Sunboy, as does Brad. I also teach music at a school down in Centennial.

AXS: Does Tommy Freed and the Sound have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Tommy: We kind of brand ourselves as psychedelic rock/soul music, but it's becoming so much more than that. We really just wanna be a great rock band, and sure rock bands are a dime a dozen, but in my opinion rock has really suffered in recent decades. And it's been so categorized. I'm violently optimistic, and I really try to convey that in the feel and the lyrics. Humans have an insane amount of potential, and I think if you create an environment that fosters that you can really help people get on their way. I know it's been done for me.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard Tommy Freed and the Sound, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Tommy: We blow s**t up with love.

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for Tommy Freed and the Sound?
Tommy: Red Rocks in August is definitely the ticket. That venue has changed my life time and time again. Ever since I saw the Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon there back in 2011, my entire idea of live music was changed. I could go into a detailed description of our extravagant lighting design pipe dream, but I'll save us all some time and say it's going to be "bright," the sun has had a rather huge influence on our sound.

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Gabby: I’m looking forward to playing the UMS with Tommy Freed and the Sound. I can’t wait to stand alongside such an amazing lineup. Other musicians that I am excited to see in the upcoming months are Death Cab for Cutie and the tUnE-yArDs at Red Rocks, Taylor McFerrin at the Fox Theater, Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the Bluebird, Miguel at the Ogden, and Toro y Moi at the Gothic.
Tommy: We're looking forward to our record release at the Gothic, but after that we really wanna step down and play house parties, small clubs, intimate venues. I think there's such a cool energy to explore there. In terms of other bands, My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks is gonna make my summer.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?
BK: I think that Denver's music scene offers a cornucopia of differing styles, scenes, and venues that all cater to a handful of specialty musics. I also play a lot in Denver's jazz scene, and it's cool to see such a rich variety of gigs available to musicians here. Whenever I've played somewhere new, I hear about at least five other places that I've heard are fun hangs. New musicians are flooding the scene, so it's good to know that Denver is expanding access to all kinds of music. It's a great time to be a Denver musician, in my opinion!
Tommy: I love the fact that it's wide open, it doesn't take long for word to get out and to become a part of it. There's not a lot of room for huge egos and it really feels like the perfect launchpad. - AXS

"Steal This Track from Tommy Freed and the Sound"

On Friday, Steal This Track featured “Anxious People” from the Denver duo Sunboy, mentioning the song’s killer guitar solo. Well, it turns out the axe wielder was a hired gun, Tommy Freed.

Since 2009, Freed has been writing and recording original music with a strong blues influence. The music showcased his soulful voice and stellar guitar work. No doubt, this guy is talented, and the songs were solid, but it sort of lacks something to make it a standout. Whatever that something is, Freed now has it with Tommy Freed and the Sound.

Freed joined up with the four members of the Sound this past November, and the group was quickly welcomed by Denver audiences, even headlining at the Hi-Dive this past April. Blues rock is still the bedrock of his music, but with the Sound, Freed goes headfirst at a psychedelic soul music that really gels. The band takes the best parts of blues and jam rock, without being too loyal to either, and melds it into a really dynamic, soulful sound that will likely appeal to listeners who denounce both genres.

Tommy Freed and the Sound have only released one single to date. “Ready” can be streamed alongside Freed’s earlier work at the band’s Soundcloud page. Below, download “The Height,” an unreleased track available broadly June 1. The band will release an album with production help from Sunboy later this summer. Tommy Freed and the Sound will perform at Illegal Pete’s DU bar on Thursday. - HeyReverb


"Make a Living" - Single (2016)
"Come On Shining" - LP (2015)



Tommy Freed and the Sound spend most of their time on the outskirts of American music. Blending rock n roll, soul, and R&B with the alternative music they grew up with, they've arrived at a place that's not entirely defined. And with the release of their debut record "Come On Shining" in July of 2015, they've marked point A in the journey of an ever-evolving catalogue. 

Band Members