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To a Friend/Did You Think I Was Gone?

(00:02:59; US: 7 Aug 2007; UK: Available as import)

Singer and songwriter Mike Ferrio’s band Tandy self-released each of these albums, which the oddly named label 00:02:59 has now issued as a two-fer. This makes for an interesting complement, pairing 2005’s To a Friend‘s laid-back, folksy vibe with the bad-mood blues and Southern rock of 2006’s Did You Think I Was Gone?. The latter is darker and more immediately compelling, with lyrical references to Bowie and Iggy on album opener “I’m the Werewolf”, and on the reverb-drowned “Misery Boys”. The disc has the wide-open feel of a 1970s recording, with warm-yet-spacious production. To a Friend, meanwhile, is a much more amiable album of pretty Americana. The violins have become fiddles, and Ferrio’s troubled rasp here is, instead, whiskey-warm and well worn. Even though the two releases have commonalities—biggest among these the voice of Mike Ferrio—their tones are quite different. To a Friend could fit snugly in the same CD changer as Greg Brown and makes for nice mid-afternoon music. Did You Think I Was Gone?, on the other hand, should be brought out for brooding night listening, maybe as a warm-up for Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. In either setting, Mike Ferrio is a solid songwriter with a compelling voice and a good band of musicians surrounding him. Sure, these two discs may play like night and day, but that’s the way world spins. In both cases, Tandy has you covered.


Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.

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