Andy Friedman is one of those people who actually left his day job as an office assistant in the Editorial Department at The New Yorker. During 2002 he took to the road as the Slideshow Poet. He performed his poetry in clubs and bars, accompanying himself with projections of his paintings, drawings, and photos.
During 2005 he made the transition from poet to musician. He released his first album, Taken Man, and has not looked back since then.
2011 finds him releasing his third album, titled Laserbeams And Dreams. He wrote all 12 of the songs and accompanied himself on the acoustic guitar. The album’s producer, David Goodrich, is also an excellent guitarist and he provides the electric sound, plus some piano work as well. The only other musician was stand-up bassist Stephan Crump.
The album was basically recorded live in the studio during one 24-hour marathon session. The only addition was the overdubbing of some bottleneck guitar on the “Old Pennsylvania” track.
Friedman’s music is laid-back and simple in construction, which allows the focus to be squarely on his words. His lyrics tell stories that ramble and travel to places that the mind rarely reaches. Images of Dodger Blue, Aztec Suns, and Shimmering Mirror Balls help to bring his eclectic lyrics to life.
There is a lot to like here. “It’s Time For Church” is an anti-religion dirge which promotes drinking and art. “Motel On The Lake” is an ode to death as he looks back on the glory days of the Catskill Resort Community. His tribute to bluegrass singer John Harold has a primitive blues feel. “Down By The Willow” explores life in the country vs. the city.
The most emotional track is “May I Rest When Death Approaches.” It is based on series of poems written by his father-in-law just days before his death.
Andy Friedman has produced an imaginative and affecting album of music. So grab your favorite beverage, throw a log on the fire, and explore the music of Laserbeams And Dreams.