"I want to create music that matters and means something to me and to the people who hear it. Many of the songs on this record are meditations to myself on life and how to live it," says singer-songwriter Roger Street Friedman…After a zigzagging career in and out of the music business, Friedman is here to stay. His debut, The Waiting Sky, which was released January 2014, is boldly vulnerable and masterfully played roots rock.
Recently relocated from Brooklyn to the North Shore of Long Island, Roger Street Friedman was born into a creative household. His father was an artist, his mother was a writer, and his two older brothers were budding guitarists. Everyone was passionate about music. At 18 Friedman left home to join the rock band The Walk as their bassist, recruited by veteran producer and engineer Michael Wright (who previously had worked with megastars Foreigner). When that project ended with no record deal he took off to Colorado and ended up skiing for a few years. He returned to NYC, went to college and while in school, opened a demo recording studio with long time friend and former high school band mate Michael Lattanzi (Jewel, Paula Abdul, LL Cool J). He engineered, produced, wrote and pitched songs. After a number of years he decided to leave the music business. He spent the next twenty plus years in a fulfilling career but continued to find himself drawn toward musical pursuits until the loss of his parents in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and an unexpected blessing in 2005, led to the realization that music was what he should be pursuing full time. In January of 2014 he released his debut album "The Waiting Sky".
"True artistic beauty can't be forced or fabricated. It requires authentic inspiration and dedication from an artist to see his or her vision come into fruition. Roger Street Friedman's debut solo album "The Waiting Sky" exemplifies this. After nearly three decades of being virtually out of the music business Friedman was struck by a creative revelation. Seven years ago he and his wife had their first child after being told they would never be able to conceive. This unexpected joy, and the pain of losing his parents provided Roger with a renewed sense of artistry. The results are striking. On "The Waiting Sky" Roger tackles highly personal subject matter. "You Are Not Alone" is about his father's last night while "The Miracle Is You" is about their child. Classic influences like Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, and Peter Gabriel are apparent, but this album also sounds remarkably fresh and contemporary. In fact, this album fits in nicely with the work of young artists like Dawes and The Avett Brothers. Roger says that he's enjoying making music again so much that he's never going to stop. Let's hope he stays true to his word!" Ryan Smith - "The Direct Buzz" March 2014.
Since this new found inspiration and the release of The Waiting Sky, Roger has seen quite the response to his musical journey. The title track was premiered on CMT Edge , the music video for the single "Time To Fly" was featured on USA Today. His music garnered attention from American Songwriter, Relix Magazine, MSN and The Daily News. As John Apice of No Depression explains in his review of The Waiting Sky, "I was surprised to learn his discography doesn't have several previous albums. It only has this one. How does someone run this musical race straight out of the gate with such clarity, focus, and dynamics? And open for Los Lobos, which he did earlier this year?" Perhaps it's that authentic inspiration, the dedication Roger has showed that gives him and his music a genuine drive for success. This truly does beg the question - what's in store for Roger Street Friedman in the future?
The Waiting Sky was produced by Felix McTeigue at a number of studios in Brooklyn, NY including, Saltlands Studio, Strangeweather, 802 Media Group (McTeigue's facility) and Friedman's home studio. "The songs emphasize life, loss, and having children, and Felix understood that," Friedman says. McTeigue also understood the type of subtle and sophisticated band interplay needed to dynamically match each song's powerful poignancy. In addition to Friedman's live Rhythm section of Jim Toscano and Lee Marvin and stellar background vocalist Grace McLean, McTeigue augmented the sessions with such A-list players as Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), Byron Isaacs (Levon Helm) ,Tony Leone (Ollabelle), Jason Crosby (Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh) Dawn Landes (Hem), and up and coming Americana/Folk duo, Ari and Mia (who are in fact Friedman's nieces). There are also appearances by Roger's two older brothers. David on harmonica and Lev on background vocals.
Gone Gone Gone
Acoustic EPAcoustic versions of previously released songs on "The Waiting Sky" – Roger presents an unadulterated, reworked version of the originals.
“We started listening to the tracks without the drums and some of the other overdubs that were done on “The Waiting Sky” and really loved the stripped down nature of them. So we decided to try a few alternate mixes. I wound up really digging the bare bones versions so we decided to release these as an EP.” – Roger
"Roger Street Friedman’s first album already has the persona, and he is accompanied by some well-known players in a band that is so in-tune to the richness and message of Roger’s songs, it’s as if they have played with him for years. Maybe they have." - No Depression John Apice - (May 2, 2014) - CLICK TO READ
Roger Street Friedman Seizes “The Waiting Sky” - CMT Edge - CLICK TO READ
"If you didn’t have soul going into this show, you surely had soul coming out of it. On Saturday, November 22, The Blind Boys of Alabama, with special guest, Roger Street Friedman, put on a show that will long be remembered." - CLICK TO READ