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Roger Street Friedman Is on the Rise in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Roger Street Friedman is a New York-based singer-songwriter who has earned accolades for his insightful, vivid vignettes full of emotion and hooks. Roger's latest CD Rise is scheduled to drop on his birthday, April 24, 2020. Recorded with a talented team led by Grammy winning producer Larry Campbell, Rise features Friedman's rhythm section of Jim Toscano and Matt Schneider, keyboardist Jason Crosby (Phil Lesh, John Mclaughlin), Campbell's wife Teresa Williams, and Lucy Kaplansky on backing vocals.

Roger Street Friedman Is on the Rise in Nashville
Roger Street Friedman Is on the Rise in Nashville

"I think I took a lot more risks with the songs on this album," Friedman says. "Not everything has a happy ending. My voice is also way more out front than it's been on the other records, which feels pretty vulnerable to me. I'm just trying to go deeper, really trying to get to the heart of the matter."

"One thing I know now, after working with Larry on this album, is how important the producer is," Friedman explains, "how important the process is, the vibe -- having the right players, how every element has a place and how one thing could be the straw that breaks the camel's back if you're not careful. And most of all, how important it is to serve the song."

Friedman armed with an acoustic guitar presented his heartfelt, new material at the City Winery in Nashville on March 05, 2020. He opened with "Lessons" a pensive piece packed with potent prose as was the more peppy "Outcasts of Love". Some tunes were inspired by family including one about Roger's grandfather who traveled to the States from Europe as a teenager treasuring his father's last hopeful words that were the "Sun Never Sets" a sentimental and serious song. In a similar vein the compelling "Carry Me" centered on missing loved ones.

Roger Street Friedman Is on the Rise in Nashville

Friedman chatted a bit between the music mentioning that Rise features a number of Nashville co-writers who added more color to the characters in songs like "Over and Over" where a housewife questions her life choices - a very relatable track from Roger's new platter. Much of his material was somber which matched the mood of the patrons who were in recovery mode after a series of storms slammed Middle Tennessee a few days before Friedman's gig which was also the kickoff of his tour that is scheduled to run through September.

Throughout the show, Matt Schneider on standup bass punctuated Roger's storytelling which really hit home on a tune called "The War is Already Over" that looked at the various lost causes that people pursue. "Rise" the title track was written for Roger's daughter and closed his set on a much needed encouraging note for Nashville.

Roger Street Friedman was a strong opener for the well-respected Tony Lucca who took the stage after an efficient set change. The City Winery continues to present a flavorful list of artists from various genres and they make their own wine which can be paired with a fine selection of food. Also, the venue prides itself on being a listening room so arrive early to enjoy conversation, drinks and a meal before the music starts.

Roger Street Friedman Is on the Rise in Nashville
Matt Schneider and Roger Street Friedman play the Lounge at City Winery.

Related Links: For more information on ROGER STREET FRIEDMAN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Roger Street Friedman | Tony Lucca | City Winery


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