Of much to look forward to in the new year, one good thing is the return to St. Louis of Mountain State songster Michael Shannon Friedman, who made two wonderful records here with Roy Kasten in the 1990s.
Michael will be the guest of honor at a guitar circle on Monday, Feb. 16 at the house of John Eiler (email me for details) and the featured artist at a local gig at The Schlafly Tap Room (1221 Locust) on Wednesday, Feb. 18 that will also include Rough Shop and my band, Three Fried Men (no cover).
You can see that I was the gadfly for these events, because they fall on the two nights I actually have a social life, Monday and Wednesday. Even if you don't have a demanding day job and a spouse and tot, like I do, humor me by coming out one or both of these nights for some good music and fellowship.
I'll be bootblogging some Michael Friedman tunes between now and then, to give him some kind of feeble web presence or at least so my friends can hear his music. Though Roy made fabulously beautiful records for Michael, with some of the best players in town, and though Roy has made and maintained websites for any number of other people, neither of these guys are self-promoters and it's much harder to experience this music than it should be.
I'll start with my three favorites from Michael's debut album, Stories I've Stolen: "I'll fall in love with Lucinda Williams (if I want to)," "Days of '88" and "Elsah, Illinois" (which features double-Grammy-nominated studio genius Adam Long on cello).
You can see from the titles alone that Michael is an exuberant student of songwriting and has tried his hand at just about all of the major tropes: place names, dates, long Dylanesque titles, cheeky name-checking of cultural cult figures. There isn't a trick in the trade he hasn't tried. And when he tells you he has stolen his stories, he is proving himself to be at least one thief who tells the truth. But it works!
Anyway, listen to the music and the language and hear for yourself.
"I'll fall in love with Lucinda Williams (if I want to)"
"Days of '88"
By Michael Friedman
From Stories I've Stolen
Produced by Roy Kasten
More free mp3s in this series
Bootblogging #1: Three by The Lettuce Heads
Bootblogging #2: Three elegies for local musicians