Friendly Rich “Man Out of Time”
Friendly Rich, Canada’s legendary songsmith of dark and deranged folk songs, has just released his highly anticipated new LP Man Out of Time (March 31st on We Are Busy Bodies). Friendly Rich describes his latest studio recording as a “dark reflection of the pandemic”.
But there’s more going on here – a punk sensibility with a folky delivery creates a unique sound that is as dark and hopeless as the pandemic that inspired it. Reflecting on his inspiration for the new album Friendly Rich had to say “I hope you enjoy this release, this work means alot to me, I honor the great Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc, and I go to even darker places as a songwriter. I wanted to honor Felix Leclerc’s music, and was able to dive into it with Mike T Kerr and Drew Jurecka to help.”
What came out is a dark and unique interpretation that sets the tone for this record. With 4 Leclerc songs embedded throughout the recording, Man Out of Time shows the many sides of Friendly Rich as a composer and performer.
Man Out of Time features a rolling cast of Canadian musicians and guest performances by Brian Poole (Renaldo & The Loaf), Kevin Breit (Nora Jones, Hugh Laurie), Christine Duncan (Tanya Tagaq), Michael Ward-Bergeman (Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble) and many more unique musicians.
The full length recording features unique interpretations of legendary Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc among Friendly Rich’s honed brand of deranged folk songs. The music can be described as high-energy, rhythmic and atmospheric, ranging from sullen stripped down ballads to frenetic folky foot-stompers. Friendly Rich’s music is theatrical and melodic and brings to mind early Bowie with hints of operatic rock in the vein of T-Rex and Roky Erickson.
Friendly Rich recalls “I really enjoyed making this record, flexing a new collaborative muscle in the process, sharing files internationally and pulling it all together. The last recording I released before the pandemic was “We Are All Terrorists” a recording that featured over 75 guest musicians, recorded in several studios in Quebec and Ontario. From there, I was wanting to get more insular in my approach anyhow, what I was deeming a return to the days when I’d record naked in my parents’ basement. Then the pandemic happened and voila, I present you…Man Out of Time.”
Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Friendly Rich has composed background music for three seasons of MTV’s The Tom Green Show as well as a myriad of tunes as The Lollipop People released on his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation.
More recently his work has been released in Europe by Hazelwood Records, which has led to playing in the massive summer festival circuit including the Fusion Fest in Germany, and the Balkan Fever Festival and Danube Festival in Vienna. On top of his musical career, Friendly Rich also just completed his PhD in Music Education from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel.
His doctoral research was on musical playgrounds as a vehicle for community development. Man Out of Time is released by We Are Busy Bodies and will be followed by tours in Canada and the US. Things are busy with Friendly Rich and The Pumpkin Pie Corporation, but as Friendly says, “One can either produce, or become produce.”