Greg Felden’s Made of Strings

By Brian Rock

Greg Felden issues his Country tinged, Folk-Rock debut, Made of Strings. Like current Folk heroes Drew Holcomb and The Lumineers, Felden devotes as much attention to his musical arrangements as to his lyrics.

“Every Time” begins with a single acoustic guitar and gradually adds layers of piano, drums and electric guitar to give texture to the song and lyrics. Singing, “We’re just a part of this human race. We’re all falling down all over the place. All the stars that we don’t know how to read. All the ways we find to make ourselves bleed…” Felden paints a gloomy picture of our human experience. However, he hints that our struggles may be the very thing that brings out the best in us. Singing, “Every time we should do all we can,” against a background of joyful piano and electric guitar chords; he reminds us that ultimately whatever the struggle, winning or losing is in God’s hands, and the best we can do is just do the best we can with integrity and compassion.

Jangly guitars and Hammond organ give “When the Change Comes” an early 80’s Athans, Ga feel. Referring to our current turbulent times, Felden asks, “When the change comes, tell me where will all the righteous people stand?” Again, his upbeat melodies belie his angst-ridden lyrics like a cool salve to a fevered forehead.

Steel guitar highlights give a subtle Country touch to the traditional Folk stylings of “Man Like Me” and “Bad Guy.” “Tell Me What’s Broken” adds elements of Seattle grunge as he deals with relationship issues. Singing, “Tell me what’s broken or can we forget it. I asked you what’s missing and now I regret it,” his lyrics adopt the snarling tone of the music. “Better This Way” deals with the same topic but with a softer, Folk-Rock melody.

Singing about relationships and turbulent times may be the stock in trade of all Folk singers, but Felden’s insights seem to have a bit more immediacy to them. This is undoubtedly because he dedicates these songs to his girlfriend, Samantha, who lost her battle with cancer during the production of this album. Suddenly, for Feldon, each little issue is a crisis and every tiff is a conflagration, because he knows firsthand that tomorrow is never guaranteed. We must strive to make everything as right as we can today. He recounts the moment his life changed on “Incoming:” “It hits you when you least expect. You wake up, your life’s a wreck… It starts falling from the sky, eighty tons and eight miles wide.” Somber and brooding, his lyrics convey the gut-punch of losing someone you love. “Take You Back,” is his loving, yearning tribute to Samantha. The title track is Felden’s attempt to put things in perspective after everything’s been turned upside down. Singing, “We’re made of strings; we’re made of clay. The nearest star is a long, long way. And we might make it there some day,” he acknowledges how fragile we all are even as he hopes for a brighter ever after.

Even when dealing with such weighty matters, Greg Felden manages to smooth the jagged edges of life with insightful lyrics and infectious melodies.  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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