"Freedberg’s voice is easy to like as it has real character." - Power Pop News
"Always a champion of a natural sound, his best works have a very old spirit." - Real Gone
"It is a delight to hear Freedberg express himself and place his various skills on display." - Jersey Beat
"Tight hooks, roaring guitars and his distinctive voice." - Twangville
"The production creates a real big sound and certainly fills out your stereo." - Fear And Loathing
Whether channeling psychedelic rock, guitar-driven blues, or traditional country ballads, everything Nat Freedberg does is about discovering the essence of the song. With Record Number Three, Freedberg and Grammy-winning producer Ducky Carlisle have crafted an auditory journey that, despite its genre-bending, resonates with a cohesive voice and vision.
Following the dissolution of The Upper Crust in late 2017, it wasn’t long before Freedberg was back in the studio with a batch of songs that departed from the hard-rock format of the Crust. Chris Cote (Upper Crust bassist) put him in touch with producer and drummer Carlisle; and together with bassist Marc Hickox and with cameos from some of Boston's best players, they recorded the 12-song Better Late Than Never. Before the dust from those sessions had even settled, Freedberg brought his old co-conspirator Jim Janota (drummer, Upper Crust) back into Carlisle’s Ice Station Zebra studio, along with guitarist Charles Hansen and bassist Jim Haggerty, and slammed out the 10-song guitar-rocker Freeloader: The Path of Least Resistance, released in July of the same year.
That made two records released in a five-month span, but still the songs kept coming at an alarming clip. Freedberg found himself working around the clock, writing lyrics, welding verses to choruses, hammering together arrangements, recording and mixing.
The result is his third album in one year: Record Number Three.
Record Number Three again features appearances from some of Boston's best players, including guitarist Duke Levine (Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter), singer-songwriter Hayley Thompson King, bassist Marc Hickox, and keyboardist Tom West (Peter Wolf, Tom Jones). “Tom West and I were actually grammar schoolmates,” explains Freedberg. “I was ten, he was a year older. He re-entered my life when Ducky brought him in for the Better Late sessions.”
There are flavors of old-school soul, blues shouts, traditional country ballads and psychedelic rock that weave through this record, but it is held together by three elements that run throughout: first-class songwriting with memorable lyrical and instrumental hooks, great playing across the board, and a voice that is truly original. It's worth listening to the music, and it's worth listening to the words.
released February 14, 2020
Nat Freedberg - Guitar, Vocals
Marc Hickox - Bass
Ducky Carlisle - Drums
Tom West - Keyboards
Hayley Thompson King - Vocals
Duke Levine - Telecaster (One Bad Decision)
Charles Hansen - Les Paul Custom (Man's Inhumanity to Man)
Chris Blue - Flying V (Man's Inhumanity to Man)
Dean Johnston - Drums (Ode to a Ham Sandwich)
Produced by Ducky Carlisle and Nat Freedberg
Recorded & Mixed by Ducky Carlisle at Ice Station Zebra, Medford, MA
Mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master, Nashville, TN
Art by Crispin Wood
Photography by Steve Jewett
Rum Bar Records is turning into one of the absolute best labels for real rock and roll these days, if you haven't gotten hip to that trip. It's the boss sound from the Boss-town." - Bill Kelly, Bill Kelly's Teenage Wasteland WFMU