Sound and the Fury

Back in the mid-’80s, Sting was asked why so many of pop’s most creative songwriters are bassists. He suggested that it had something to do with the demands of the job: A bass player is required to think as a composer, to create parts that provide a foundation and often make sense only in the context of a song.

Tom Freund can handle himself on several instruments, but, above all, he’s a consummate standup bassist. That might explain his sensitivity to song structure, which has earned raves from respected figures such as Graham Parker (for whom Freund has played bass) and Victoria Williams. Over the course of three studio albums, culminating with 2005’s Copper Moon, Freund has established himself as a cult artist that other cult artists love to hear.

A New Yorker who switched coasts in the early ’90s and now resides in Venice, California, Freund is probably best known for having worked in a duo with Ben Harper, before Harper established himself as a solo artist. Freund and Harper released a vinyl-only album called Pleasure and Pain in 1992, and the record has since become an eBay treasure for Harper diehards. The two troubadours have maintained a friendship over the years, with Freund occasionally sitting in with Harper or opening shows for him.

Freund visits San Antonio for a Saturday, November 4 show at one of the city’s most intimate, music-oriented venues, the Red Room (1903 S. St. Mary’s). Local phenom Marcus Rubio should be a fitting opener. Tickets are $10. Call 218-3442 for more info.

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