CD REVIEW: Tom Freund "The Edge Of Venice"

The Edge Of Venice
Between collaborating with Ben Harper in the early 90's on a folk album and coming full circle with his last release seeing Harper as a collaborator again, that time as a producer, Tom Freund has released a ton of music. His latest release is somewhat of a retrospective look at his career as a musician through a collection of new tunes. You can find every bit of Freund on this album from his early days as an unknown folkie to his more recent life as a new father. Fruend's music tells stories, and that has never been more evident than in this collection of music. He speaks like the local know-it-all, telling about the people he's met, the places he's been, and his local surroundings along with connecting to the listener on familiar relatable topics. "Wounded Surfer Boy" is west coast beach music at it's best, however, it's without the palm trees and sunshine and bonfires that define that style. It's straight up 70's era California folk music. He rocks on tracks like "Cruel Cruel World" and brings vivid imagery into his lyrics on "Daddy's Song" and "Lakeshore Drive (LSD)." Meiko also lends some beautiful backing vocals on the mellow tune "Sweetly Calling My Name." His signature jazz influence is evident throughout while still keeping this very much a folk recording. Tom Fruend is a magical soul, and you truly get let inside his mind and soul throughout this entire new release.