Long Island born and Brooklyn based 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). Friedman’s band mates were considerably older and as a teenager he just didn’t gel with them. “I was an immature kid, I didn’t understand the work and dedication it took to be good at music,” Friedman says. He took off to Colorado and ended up skiing for a few years. He then spent the next twenty-eight years in a fulfilling career but wandering aimlessly in and out of musical pursuits until the loss of his parents, and an unexpected blessing, awoke the music within.
Friedman and his wife had been previously told they wouldn’t be able to conceive. Seven years ago they got pregnant and the bliss and awe of the gift of new life inspired Friedman to write his first complete song in years, “the Miracle Is You.” When his newborn’s babysitter suggested he record his next song, “Fiberglass Buddha,” in her husband’s home studio he had a huge epiphany. “Being in that studio, my world went from black and white to color. I made the decision to move my life in that direction again,” he says.
Friedman’s aesthetic is a diverse blend of folk, blues, R&B, rock n’ roll, and country. He’s been favorably compared to Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel, The Dead, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Joan Armatrading. His songwriting is concise and powerfully introspective, intimate, and filled with warmth.
Friedman’s debut album, The Waiting Sky was recorded 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 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.
Recently Friedman took some time out of his busy recording schedule to talk with KC Cafe radio Music Director Kathy Forste via Skype. They talked about the events in his life that inspired the songs on The Waiting Sky, the contributions that life, family and circumstances make in the creation of music as an art form, and what is instore for him in his new musical future.
Listen to the interview here:
Music by Roger Street Friedman on KC Cafe Radio
|Roger Street Friedman – The Waiting Sky
As we approach 2015, we want to take a moment to personally thank all those who helped keep the music streaming in 2014. First, we would like to thank all of our Performing Artists who have shared their original music with our station. We are in awe of all the talented singer/songwriters currently streaming on the Cafe and those who performed this year in our Concert Series.
Second, we want to recognise a small group of individuals who tirelessly work in the background for KC Cafe. We want to thank our Board of Directors which includes: John Dutton (President), Larry Garrett (Vice President), Victor James Dougherty (Secretary), and Beth Coleman (Treasurer). Their contributions over the last six months have greatly improved our processes.
Next, we want to thank our Underwriters, KC Cafe Menu Favorites, and Community Partnerships. Their financial and professional support helped pay for all our operational costs in 2014, as well as, allowed us to expand our reach and participate in regional folk festivals in new and exciting ways. These individuals and businesses include:
- Gusto Coffee Shop – Steve & Emily Hula
- The Fig Tree Café and Bakery – Robyn Altoom
- Jeanette Lundgren – Mother Hen Promotions
- Sally Smith – Whistle Stop Antiques
- Folk Alliance International 2014
- Folk Alliance Region Midwest 2014
- Doug Adamz
- Roger Street Friedman
- Chappell & Dave Holt
- The Enzymes with The Active Ingredients
- John Batdorf
- John Zipperer
- Lucy Billings
- Kerry Patrick Clark
- Hilary Scott
- Carey Appel
- The Keller sisters
- Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band
- Folk Alliance Far West 2014
- Kansas City Songwriter’s Circle
- Vicki Leighty – Lydaco Music
- Kasey Dawn Rausch
Our Concert Series Hosts were amazing in 2014. Our generous Concert Series Hosts brought together their friends and excellent food to experience KC Cafe Performing Artists from all over the United States. A huge THANK You to the following 2014 Concert Series Hosts who welcomed KC Cafe Radio into their homes and businesses. We are truly grateful for your partnership and everyone can relive each live performance in our live music archives here. The list of 2014 Concert Series Hosts include:
- Matt & Kathleen Coleman
- Kathy & Jerry Forste
- Sally Smith – Whistle Stop Antiques
- Cyd’s Art, Antiques. & Fair Trade
- Mark & Beth Coleman
- Cathy & Stan Unruh
- John Dutton & Olin Durham
- Sara Currin & Sacred Spirals KC
- PT’s at the Crossroads
- St. Garabed’s Church
Last but not least, we want to thank the listeners and fans of original music! Since we began our journey in 2008 so much has changed. Yet as things have changed our mission has remained constant, to provide you the listener with the World Finest Original Music on the planet! So as we close out another broadcast year we are excited to enter into 2015 with high hopes to increase our reach, expand our services to artists, and acquire new listeners looking for original music.
May 2015 be merry and bright for you and yours and may you have a blessed holiday season for the rest of 2014.
Happy Holidays from KC Cafe Radio – John, Kathy, and Kathleen
Award nominated Kansas-based Americana singer / songwriter JONATHAN FLEIG brings organic and heartfelt storytelling front and center in his new album and documentary film, Road to Nowhere. The album is available for download and previews of the film are available here.
Harkening the bittersweet essence of American folk raconteurs, JONATHAN FLEIG will lure listeners from all walks of life, from blues and soul to rock and country. Road to Nowhere was recorded, filmed and produced by Brian D. Hardin (Quincy Jones, India Arie, Ziggy Marley).
Road to Nowhere was captured live, on location, in symbolic pastoral settings throughout Kansas.
Road To Nowhere finds JONATHAN FLEIG in his element, painting a sensory emotional experience on a canvas of music and film. For press inquiries and additional information, please contact JONATHAN FLEIG via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KC Cafe is proud to call Jonathan a KC Cafe Performing Artist! We are honored that he graced the KC Cafe Radio stage at the 2014 Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City this past February. You can hear Jonathan’s performance at FAI2014 here.