Photo courtesy of Docent Prodigy
It’s no surprise that Buzz Artist loves to support Charleston artists (catch our Q&As with Tyler Boone, SondorBlue, and Grace Joyner), so we were happy to receive a submission from Charleston-based blues-rock fusion group, the Mike Freund Band. Frontman Mike Freund provides lead vocals and impressive guitar work, backed by bassist Mark Schleis, groove drummer Mike Brown, keyboardist Noah Jones, and Jeff Leftennant on percussion. On his latest full-length record, Toe The Line, released last year, Mike Freund leads the group to victory with extraordinary instrumentation and creative energy.
Opening Toe The Line is a psychedelic blues track, “25 Roses,” with a high-power vocal performance howling above layers of funky percussion. Two tracks later, “Lonely” maintains the same blues-rock vibe, but with a softer, more melodic tone. Here, Mike’s voice is a smooth croon singing “If you never wanna be lonely, let’s give it a try,” with woozy electric interludes spicing up the instrumental solos. “Hair’s On Fire” is a straight rock song, heavy with dynamic rhythm guitar and consistent percussion giving off hints of alt-country elements. Toe The Line‘s most impressive blues-rock marriage is “Don’t Count Me Out,” fuzzy distortion and complex, impassioned guitar solos breathing life into the outlaw tune as Mike’s voice reaches its highest power, wailing “You can knock me down but don’t count me out.” The record ends ten tracks later with “Medicine Show,” the opening instrumental blending a country bass jig with blues beats before distant vocals come in smooth with quick-witted lyrics over the rolling, layered production.
On Toe The Line, Mike Freund and his band expertly build vibrant, fiery instrumentation that both shines on its own and successfully complements Mike’s lively vocals. With an unrivaled energy, their blues-rock medley is a can’t-miss blend of impressive rock ‘n roll and groovy boogie-woogie sing-alongs.
Listen to Toe The Line right here and buy the album from CDBaby: