For more than a decade, Freund's been a favored sideman on upright bass. His three solo albums have revealed equal prowess on mandolin, guitar, electric guitar and piano. Rare as it is for a singer-songwriter to be so musicianly (honestly, don't you get bored with all those chord strummers?), Freund is a gifted lyricist, as well.
His 2004 release Copper Moon begins with an ending in the title track and ends with a new beginning in "New Moon of the 7th Sun." In between, Freund visits commitment phobia ("C'est La Vie"), the walk-out ("Leavin' Town"), the "just friends" thing ("Babysitter") and the heartbreaker ("October Girl").
Throughout, the arrangements are stunning. "Copper Moon" features a keening, ethereal lap steel part by Wallflower Ben Peeler around Freund's painterly acoustic guitar. "Mercury" is a subversively affecting assemblage of Rolling Stones conceits. "Run Like That" is perky, Petty-like, and Oscar-timely: "Take the man in the movies / He's got two hours to do his show / He's gotta get the girl, get the loot, all before sunrise / And make it to Mexico." You don't have to run like that, so why not enjoy an evening in Freund's company?