Roger Street Friedman
Singer-songwriter Roger Street Freidman’s latest release, Shoot The Moon, is a full-emotional spectrum collection of vivacious and reflective vignettes from real life that recalls the pop-rock singer-songwriter tradition of Jackson Browne, Marc Cohn, Randy Newman, Colin Hay, Bruce Hornsby, and Mark Knopfler. Few artists make albums like this today. In an age of irony, few songwriters are this brave in their vulnerability, and possess Friedman’s gift for penning hook-laden, emotionally resonant, pop-rock.
Up until 2014, Friedman led a quaint life as a professional and a family man. As a kid he played music and even was a budding recording engineer. It was only after the loss of his father and mother in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and the birth of his daughter in 2006, that he was struck by the realization that his passion and talent for writing, performing and recording songs had not diminished.
“When my dad passed away in 2004 it really hit me that this was not a dress rehearsal. When you turn 50, you start to hear about or lose people that are your own age. It gives me the sense that I’ve got a lot of work to do,” shares the Sea Cliff, New York-based artist.
After issuing his debut, The Waiting Sky, Friedman made the bold decision to pursue music full time. “It was scary, but I had gotten to a point where, to be myself, I had to give music everything I had,” Friedman says. “You only get one shot in this life, you have to go for broke, no matter what it takes.” Champions for the album included No Depression, American Songwriter, Relix Magazine, MSN, The Alternate Route, Elmore Magazine and the New York Daily News.
Friedman’s latest effort, Shoot The Moon, exudes an album-oriented cohesion which is to say there is a broad spectrum of feelings and genres threaded together by Friedman’s well-developed aesthetic sense. The 13 masterfully crafted tracks snapshot the ephemeralness of life through revealing the poetry in the humble moments. Be it relationship struggles, pining for the innocent times of childhood, and self-growth after loss, Friedman crystalizes these feelings through deeply personal lyrics that resonate broadly in content and messaging.
The tracks on Shoot The Moon boast sharp hooks, imaginative arrangements, telepathic real-time musical interplay, and vocals that hit a magical emotive spot through being sage, soulful, and sweet. The stylistic calling card is both earthy and urbane, spanning pastoral folk, euphoric New Orleans-style horn driven pop-rock, alt-country, blues and R&B.
The slinky “Puffs Of Smoke” opens the album, and is a tango gumbo of horn-driven Crescent City funk and swampy roots rock. Friedman waxes autobiographical on the bluegrass-tinged “Everyday” and the infectious “Shoot The Moon” which brims with punchy horns and Friedman’s twangy vocals wonderfully complimented by Amy Helm’s soaring gospel-inflected singing. “‘Everyday’ is about me getting out my own way to let myself open up, and ‘Shoot The Moon’ is one of those ‘life is short, go for broke’ songs,’” shares Friedman. The bittersweet “Tomorrow,” about a relationship going through hard times, features a stunning duet between Helm and Friedman. The redemptive “Tidal Wave,” tinged with Hammond organ and a powerful Gospel Choir, promises a new day filled with unflinching optimism.
The Shoot The Moon sessions were captured on vibey analog equipment with Friedman and longtime friend Felix McTeigue (the co-writer of Florida Georgia Line’s chart-topping “Anything Goes” and Lori McKenna’s Grammy nominated single “Wreck You”) in joint producer and engineer roles. The album offers cameos by Ari Hest, The Masterson’s, Jason Crosby, and Amy Helm (Levon Helm Band, the Dirt Farmer Band, the Midnight Ramble Band, Ollabelle). It was mixed by Grammy Award winner Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr.).
Friedman has been sharing Shoot The Moon with audiences throughout the Northeast and Nashville, where he’s been performing at a number of writer’s rounds, including one at the acclaimed Blue Bird Cafe, and appeared on WSMV’s Today In Nashville. He’s continued to book appearances at select festivals such as 2017’s Morgan Park Summer Music Folk Festival with artists such as Dar Williams and Amy Helm.
Currently at work on new material for a forthcoming album Friedman reflects on this era of fevered creativity and late-in-life self discovery: “You can’t rush the process. You can polish and chip away at the sculpture, but the evolution of the art takes the time it takes. For me, it feels fabulous to be where I’m at. I just have to stay open to the inspiration, and pour my heart and soul into the work. The rest is up to the universe.”
"...set the stage for the eclectic effort that meshes Americana, Folk, Blues, Soul and more” - Matt Inman | Relix Magazine
“He writes with the wisdom of someone who’s seen his share of living, and actually was savvy enough to take notes along the way…So here it is: what will surely be one of the best albums of this still brand new year—delivered right on time. Real life guaranteed.” - Bentley's Band Stand (read full review)
“One moment he’s turning out harmonically rich Paul Simon-esque art-folk; the next he’s digging into the kind of good ‘n’ greasy Americana groove John Hiatt would kill for.” - Jim Allen | CultureSonar (10 Albums to Look Out for in 1027) (read more)