After cutting his teeth in his home state’s legendary music scene, New Jersey native Mike Freund headed south to the equally influential music town of Charleston, South Carolina. He is a veteran singer, songwriter and no-joke guitar slinger who has been entertaining Rock & Blues fans up and down the East Coast for years.
Regular readers of The Static Dive will remember Mike Freund (pronounced ‘friend’) from his 2020 releases “Dust” and “Crooked Teeth.” Each record showed the softer, acoustic singer/songwriter side of the talented musician. However, his fans know that he is equally adept at ripping smoking electric Blues solos over groovy heavy Rock riffs. On his latest album he is flexing those muscles with an amp cranked to 11.
“Twenty Twenty” is the brand new album from Mike Freund, released worldwide to all major streaming services on February 1, 2022. The 10 song collection is the singer’s fourth full length effort. From start to finish, the record is a testament to his skills as both a songwriter and a guitar player.
The album opens on “Breathe,” a dose of Zen wisdom delivered with a beautiful Beatles-esque descending vocal melody over a wall of guitar grunge. Here and throughout the record, Mike Freund and band call on generations of guitar-driven Rock to create a sound that is equal parts North, South, new and old.
“For Me and for You” is a sweet love song with a 70’s Pop-inspired melody and percussive groove. From there the album heads to blusier terrain. “I’m a King” drops a bit of social commentary as the singer calls out the rich and power hungry while pulling off some smoking Chicago-style leads. He keeps his foot on the distortion pedal for the Hendrix-meets-Leslie West Classic Rock thump of “Hurricane.”
“Shotgun” is a real high point on the record as Mike Freund pulls some swampy slide-guitar Blues straight out of the Delta. He keeps the six-string worship rolling on the solo-guitar interlude “Praise” before switching gears a bit on “What I Am.” That song and the later track “Where You Been” create a singer/songwriter vibe that mixes a modern Southern Rock attitude with a classic Alternative sound, brining to mind Michael Been’s legendary 80’s band The Call.
“Silver Tongue Devil” brings us back to the swamp for another shot of Blues. Then, before closing out the record with the aforementioned “Where You Been,” the band serves up a little mountain music and Norwegian Wood on the excellent Classic Rock inspired instrumental “Nunna Dual Tsunny.”
Check out “Twenty Twenty” below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear “Breathe” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist, “Shotgun” on Deep Indie Songwriters and “Nunna Dual Tsunny” on the Deep Indie Chill. Follow the links below to connect with the Mike Freund. And if you’re in the area, stop by The Charleston Pourhouse at 6PM on February 17 for the official album release party.