Aaron Freeman, or as you may know him by his stage name/alter ego Gene Ween, has recently broken up his much-loved chameleonic band Ween but has not left us wanting for music — he recently released this album entirely composed of Rod McKuen covers. Many a critic over the decades has called McKuen’s work sappy, kitschy, or schmaltzy, but I’ve always thought it’s anything but that. His lyrics and simple, often folksy melodies are heartfelt, honest and very affecting. Gene/Aaron has given us a sublime, non-ironic reading of this songs, and it is a great pleasure to hear. The arrangement are for the most part acoustic, standard and at times jazzy, giving full attention to the lyrics and a side Freeman’s voice not often heard on Ween recordings.
I’ve been a fan of Brian Fitzsousa since he used to play as a solo act under his own name at the historic Sidewalk on the lower east side, which is where I met him. As it turned out, we both went to NYU and had a lot of musician friends in common, and even ended up having our bands play shows together. Now he’s got a new record out with a new band called Dewey & The Decimals.
My favorite new track from the record, Blue Raincoat is available for free download.
Dewey & The Decimals-Red Tailed Fox
From the Blue Raincoat EP
Some of the most talented musicians I know, who also happen to be some really great friends, just put out an EP with some fantastic songs like this one.
oh yeah, and you can get it here.