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MP3 Andy Friedman - Taken Man

"Art-Tinged Folk Songs." --The New Yorker

10 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Folk, FOLK: Folk Blues

The Brooklyn-based visual artist, songwriter, and iconoclast performer Andy Friedman has made a name for himself over the last five years as a genre-bending, media-blending "erudite redneck" (BOSTON GLOBE), "winning over audiences" (SF WEEKLY) with his "art-tinged folk songs" (NEW YORKER), story-songs, and talking blues onstage.

Friedman''s first studio album, "Taken Man" (City Salvage Records), presents ambitious new songs about art, wild dreams, and wanderlust. Produced by longtime crony, songwriter/guitarist, and label-mate Paul Curreri, the songs on "Taken Man" are well-crafted, insightful, and infused with a stark wit. This makes sense coming from a songwriter who is also a New Yorker cartoonist. In addition to Curreri, the album includes special guest appearances by Jeffrey Foucault, Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor, Devon Sproule, Natalia Zukerman, Kris Delmhorst, Melissa Ferrick and others.

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OXFORD TOWN: “The appeal of Friedman’s music is his ability to write simple and evocative songs in an age where vague, abstract themes often dominate. . . It’s not country in the Willie Nelson/Johnny Cash vein, but it’s no less country music. It’s poetic with long, winding narratives, unrefined, and unrestricted by any number of rules or preconceptions; and it’s honest. . .“Taken Man” shows a great deal of promise and could propel Friedman from the depths of musical obscurity into the annals of American songwriting.”

CREATIVE LOAFING: "An illustrator, storyteller and visual artist before turning to music, Friedman''s twisted debut -- "Taken Man" -- suggests he''s made an entertaining, if not necessarily solid career move. He may sound like Lou Reed channeling a Bob Dylan head cold, and plays old school country and folk so worn down the ruts have ruts, but this is no nostalgia or novelty act. In the end, narratives like "I Don''t Want To Die Like Andy Kaufman," "Self-Portrait In White-Knuckle Death Grip," "Guys Like Me Don''t Get Grants," and "Probably Shouldn''t Call," work because they''re both clever and poignant enough that you won''t care if Friedman is playing Strauss walzes on a Jew''s harp and sings like Roseanne Barr. He''s also written the funniest song ever penned about the Silver Jews'' David Berman -- true, that''s a small pool, but it''s a really funny song."

BIRMINGHAM WEEKLY: “Can you imagine a New Yorker Cartoonist growling drunk and singing? Even if you can, Andy Friedman will transcend your imaginings. The Brooklyn-based artist-turned-haggard-singer-songwriter is a self- proclaimed iconoclast specializing in what he calls “Art Country.” He used to tour with a slide projector and show pictures during his songs, but now relies on his own reveries and wordplay. And no wonder, song titles such as “I Don’t Want to Die Like Andy Kaufman” and “Guys Like Me Don’t Get Grants” should tell you all you need to know.”

https://www.tradebit.com: “Andy Friedman is alt-country. But not just because Nashville won''t have him, or because his music has too much integrity to be just more anthemic slop featured on commercial country stations. No, he''s alt-country because he''s really saying something with each and every song, and that''s something that even the best alt-country simply doesn''t do. . ."Taken Man" is an entertaining and thought-provoking ride."

COLUMBIA FREE TIMES: "The first time Friedman came to the Capital City, someone threw a shoe at him and arm-wrestled him on stage. His second time here, Friedman threw the shoe back. Suffice it to say, the New Yorker cartoonist-turned-art-country troublemaker has the hootin''-hollerin''-carryin'' on spirit of Hank Williams and Merle Haggard spliced into his twangy acoustic chords and lonesome lap steel guitar lines. And despite lyrical themes involving Andy Kaufman, self-portraits and failing to get artistic grants, Friedman''s so distinctly (and yet so eruditely) redneck, you''d never guess he was from Long Island."

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