Whether Daniel Friedberg, aka Freebo, was actually thwarted by his dog is between him, his ex-lover and the pooch. But his honky tonk tune “She Loves My Dog More Than Me” makes a convincing case for owning a lizard, a hamster or, to err on the side of caution, a goldfish.
The title sums up the narrative, which contains lyrics as acerbically savory as those Warren Zevon would imagine after a couple shots of Old Crow. The cautionary tale unfolds. “As the fire was a stokin’ came a cold nose a pokin’ somewhere it should not have been.” “It kind of put me out of the zone” admits the disregarded guy, after an infectious country chorus with crisp horns, he surrenders: “man’s best friend gets the girl in the end.”
Freebo played bass with Bonnie Rait from ’71 to ’81. From there he played bass and toured with music icons of multiple genres, including Neil Young, Dr. John and Ringo Starr.
The impact of those different genres translates into rebellious, unexpected instrumental arrangements reinforced by wry, perceptive lyrics that could only be delivered authentically by a well-travelled soul.
Freebo experiments with genre cross-pollination dramatically in “Funk Up the Folk.” A lilting acoustic guitar and two harmonizing vocalists sway you into familiar, dreamy space. It’s cozy ’60s folk reminiscent of a Simon and Garfunkel peaceful protest song. “There’s a wrong that needs righting/I got to say aloud/there’s a time for uniting… people raise their voices to the right thing… the music makes the mountains move/but it ain’t going to move without no groove.” The gentle melody then detonates into funk driven by a throbbing bass-line and a Tower of Power size horn section. “It ain’t no crime and it ain’t no joke/don’t you think it’s time to funk up the folk?” the lyrics demand.
“Standing Ovation” meditates on mortality and legacy with less eccentricity. “When I die/give me a standing ovation/a celebration for a job well done… you write your own story/as the pages unfold/but you’re never quite sure of the ending.”
FREEBO 5pm, Sunday, Nov. 29 at The Lighthouse Smokehouse, 794 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. $15. 375-6958