You could say that again, Tom. Surf rock, folk rock, alt rock is where his heart, head and hands are at. And this sensational singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist – guitar, ukulele, piano, double bass, mandolin – has been going strong ever since his days with the great Ben Harper. Superlatives galore, yes, but all true. Freund met friend Ben at college and in 1992 the two, the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid of Americana, set things in motion with their classic «Pleasure and Pain» and it launched them both onto the scene. Their path, but not their friendship diverged, Ben went on to world fame, Tom kept doing his thing by joining the acclaimed roots-rock group The Silos for several years and then with the 1998 release of his solo album «North American Long Weekend», penned when he was living in Austin.
Actually he’s a born and bred New Yorker, he defies the notion that New York isn’t really part of the U.S. In the apple he was playing clubs and caught the attention of the legendary stage director Elizabeth Swados who had him play and sing in «Swing» at the BAM Next Wave festival. In 2008, Ben Harper produced his friend’s «Collapsible Plans» and they got Jackson Brown to play piano and sing on a few «ditties» (that’s what Tom calls songs). Incidentally, he also worked with Graham Parker who said about the album «Two Moons» (2014): «Practically every song gives me goose bumps. Together with Lucinda Williams, Freund’s currently the best singer-songwriter around». Just days before coming here, from the mountain to the valley to the island, Tom’s participating in Zermatt at the 2017 Unplugged Festival. In «Two Moons» he sings: «I’m basically hooked on this life / it’s got a lot of problems / but it treats me real right / and you don’t have to agree with me / but let me fly my freak flag». And adds «If the album can serve as a universal message of hope in this chaotic world, ok, then I’m doing something good for the people out there».
Let’s gift the mango Mussolini in his spire a CD.