Charleston, SC-based blues-rocker Mike Freund has released his second full-length record, And Now You Know, and boy is it a scorcher! The experienced guitarist is alive on every track, displaying his catchy guitar licks, fun vibes, and self-reflective lyrics at every turn. Freund, pronounced “Friend”, is no stranger to adversity, having already overcome multiple obstacles in his relentless pursuit of music, including car accidents and thieves. His struggle has been well worth it, as he has given his listeners the gift of a rockin’ batch of new tunes. These are tunes that make one want to keep listening over and over again.
Mike Freund – And Now You Know
“Wait”, the next song on the record, begins with syncopated drums that are quickly joined by the ensemble. Lyrically, the song is a plea for time and patience from a lover. Freund’s guitar proficiency is on full display, one can almost hear him crying through his pickups for the object of the song to “Wait” for him to get things right.
On the upbeat “I Do This Alone” Freund sings “I cut my teeth on the road chasin’ dream at night/It took someone like me years to know/If you want it so bad you gotta let it go”, an introspective lyrical passage that could just as easily be describing the pursuit of music as it could be describing the pursuit of love. The wisdom of experience is clearly something Mike Freund brings to the table, while still maintaining a youthful essence.
“Wake You Up” finds him exploring his acoustic side, complemented by shining vocal harmonies. Lyrically the song describes a midnight tryst between lovers, with the narrator promising to “Wake you up at midnight [and] love you”. One never gets the feeling that Freund’s lyrics are distasteful; rather, he approaches love and romance with an earnest virtue. His affections are always in service of the love he sings to.
“And Now You Know” has its limitations, tending to stay in familiar territory musically and lyrically. Certainly the genre lends itself to some common elements; lyrics about love won or lost, pentatonic scale riffs, guitar solos, etc. However, Freund does his best to keep things fresh with each track, and he largely succeeds. In any event, it is clear that this rising star is only just beginning to wow us with his talents.
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