Tom Freund

If there is such a genre as ambient Americana, then Tom Freund is its standard bearer. First gaining attention as a touring member of pioneering roots rockers the Silos, Freund has parlayed a decade-long friendship with Ben Harper into a series of atmospherically rustic releases that culminated in 2004's Copper Moon, a sparkling collection of folk and pop that defies easy categorization. Intense and charismatically brooding, Freund's literate narratives provide a link between Nick Drake and Jeff Tweedy, detailed explorations of the ins and outs of affection that never descend into formula. Hailed by Graham Parker as a songwriter on par with Lucinda Williams, Freund appears to be at the precipice of larger recognition. Perhaps a bit too blue-collar for those who think indie rock needs to be abrasive, songs such as "Comfortable in Your Arms" and "Married to Laughter" serve as sanctuaries of repose in the hectic mass of shouters and scene-chasers.

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