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Part of what makes indie-Americana music persistently relevant is the clarity with which it relays complex emotions through lyrics and stories. The really great songs reveal enduring, often startling truths about humanity and personal transformation.¬†Skip Friel’s¬†new album,¬†Passage, continues in this context and asks the listener to go beyond the surface of themes such as love, loss and longing.
The musical journey begins with ‘Another Island,’ a spectacular retelling of a family story that pays homage to one of Friel’s ancestors -¬≠- a broken-hearted 19th¬†century Irish immigrant arriving in New York Harbor who discovers the restorative powers of self-reliance and new love.
In listening to the album as a compilation, one gets the sense that survival and personal growth gain momentum through generations in songs such as ‘Transcending,’ a modern-day story tracing the birth, extraordinary life, and death of a woman who far exceeded limited expectations placed upon her. “After the recording process was complete, I noticed a commonality running through the music,” explains Friel. “Each song is about transitioning, growth, and passages of renewal through time.”
Percussionist¬†Bob Simmons¬†notes, “Passage¬†speaks of the pathos of life, but at the same time offers inspiration and hope to ‘everyman.’ The album asks the mind to reflect, the soul to feel, and the heart to love.”
Deeply introspective, the songs comprising¬†Passage¬†also are intricately woven with threads of soulful roots instrumentation. Backed by soaring melodies of veteran Grand Ole Opry fiddler¬†Charlie Austin, bright mandolins, and lush acoustic guitars, Friel’s vocals are made of emotion. “These are great songs,” said Austin. “I’m very excited to be part of this project.”
Passage¬†is the follow-up to Friel’s solo award-winning album,¬†Twilight Red Sky¬†. The¬†Virginia-based singer-songwriter performs an eclectic mix of original music with his band, the Resonators.
Produced by New Moon Music, the album was recorded and mixed by¬†Randy Friel¬†at Clay Garden Studios in¬†Norfolk, VA¬†and Scullville Studios of¬†Scullville, NJ. Randy founded New Moon Music, an independent label specializing in blues and roots music. Clients include such greats as¬†Levon Helm, Bruce Springsteen,¬†Deborah Coleman, and the Dixie Hummingbirds. Tony Mascara of The Audio Lab in Millville, NJ¬†mastered¬†Passage.
Passage¬†artists are:¬†Charlie Austin,¬†Julie Clark,¬†Rosie Eberwine,¬†Randy Friel,¬†Fred Kovner,¬†Gary Krebs,Cindy McNellis,¬†Bob Rankin,¬†Rich Ridolfino,¬†Anna Lee Scully,¬†Charlie Shugarman,¬†Bob Simmons, and Martin Somers. The CD cover features original graphic art by¬†Bart Morris¬†of Morris Design and photography by¬†Kathy Keeney, both of¬†Norfolk, VA.
MP3 files in this press release may be downloaded immediately for airplay. Additional songs available upon request.
A CD release event is scheduled for¬†9:30 p.m.,¬†May 5, at Taphouse Grill in Ghent,¬†Norfolk, VA.
Image Courtesy of ¬†¬†https://www.facebook.com/skipfriel