Greg Felden may have grown up in the Pacific Northwest, and then spent time on the East Coast. But his new album could be a metaphor for a California coast summer day. It starts with some gray and fog that can limit your visibility, like the first 3-4 songs on the record. So true to that, Man Like Me is an acoustic song with a melancholy feel that he’s “all alone, all alone without a friend.” Take You Back Home is a ballad about the unconditional love of a best friend that’s nonetheless got a chilly breeze running through it.
By mid morning the sun is emerging and the day is hitting its stride as is the album. Bad Guy laments the struggle of the common man where things always seemed stacked against him, putting it to a rootsy sound with classic rock guitar and keyboards. Tell Me What’s Broken goes Petty with feedback on the intro and B-3 filling in for the second lead guitar. The title song starts in the same vein with feedback guitar but then transitions to an acoustic gem about the fragility of life. It’s perhaps inspired by Felden’s dad or grandad when it talks about how “you hang your hat behind the door”.
Later in the day the clouds roll back in. Incoming is an indie folk number that we can all relate to about when life “hits you when you least expect.” The final song on the album is Ghosts with its haunting guitar and moaning keys that really sets the mood for an introspective wondering what drives us, what inspires us.
Made Of Strings is a record with a beginning to end flow that you don’t hear much in the day and age of Spotify playlists. That cohesiveness is a bit unusual for a first album where sometimes there are years between when the songs were written. It all adds up to an impressive debut from Greg Felden.
About the author: I've actually driven from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I've seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night.