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' latest studio album, The Edge of Venice, was 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 “Collapsible Plans (Sugar) was seen performed live on “Last Call With Carson Daly” in January of 09.
From "The Stronghold Tapes" Live album's liner notes, here's what Tom had to say: "The Stronghold hit the spot. Venice really needed a music venue that was cool and undisturbed by the trendy and highfalutin, velvet rope and poser scene that has plagued parts of LA for years. The Stronghold became a sort of Chat Noir if you will, a cabaret for artists to gather and express their ideas. A speakeasy for the people, our tribe and a meeting point of common interest where the focal point was always THE MUSIC. For a while, The Stronghold managed to stay under the radar, which in these modern times is not so easy to do. But for those in the know, it was the place to go. And those that knew grew and grew with people stopping in from New York, France, Australia and Japan . . . the word had gotten out!
The avant-garde and bohemian was what the people were after in an ever homogenizing world, and in Venice, the battle took place on our main drag, Abbott Kinney Blvd. It started with the proprietors of The Stronghold Clothing Co. finding musicians on the street who were busking and asking them if they wanted a stage, a platform to perform. I was the first artist that was asked to do a weekly residency and thus was was born "Tom Freund and Friends Tuesdays" - a regular gathering for people to hear my band and I try out new material and jam with some special guests.
There was a circus like atmosphere to the scene, maybe something out of a Toulouse Lautrec painting or a Hemingway novel. The decor was that of a 30's movie: Dust Bowl and denim with leather sofas and high wood-beamed ceilings; all of which made for great sound and ambiance. Many a photographer came as well, as you see from the images here.
We had the good fortune of having recorded the events from behind the stage most every Tuesday night, from December '09 to May '10, capturing this part of The Stronghold story. We preserved much of the ambiance of the room in the recording so you'll hear a little conversation, and you can feel the movements of the dwellers - we are not precious here! We decided to make it a 2-CD collection with Side A featuring the full band experience and Side B breaking it down - mostly me solo with a couple players sprinkling in - the way we used to kick off our Tuesdays. Also, for those of you who might be concerned: don't worry, no overdubs were hurt in these recordings!"
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 heart and 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