Written by Jill Nossa Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:00
Sea Cliff musician Roger Street Friedman has special cause for celebration this Father’s Day as he is finally able to share the completed album inspired by the birth of his first child.
Friedman, an accomplished musician who left his home in Jericho to join a band in Manhattan at the age of 18, diverted his path for awhile after college before coming back to his true calling of writing and playing music. After he and his wife had been told they would not be able to conceive a child, the miracle happened and she became pregnant in 2006. His daughter, Allison, now 7, was the inspiration for the first song he wrote on the album, called “The Miracle Is You.”
“I felt love at a deeper plane than I had ever felt before,” Friedman says of learning the news that he would become a father. “It inspired me to write music again.”
Unfortunately, the greatest joy of his life was coupled with the sudden death of his mother two weeks before his daughter was born.
“It was shocking...a rude awakening. It made me realize life is short so you have to do what you love.”
For him, that love was writing music, and the seeds for The Waiting Sky were planted. He first met with producers in 2011, and the record unfolded. He did, however, take a six month break from the project after the birth of his son in May 2012. A few months later, the family moved from Brooklyn to Sea Cliff.
“When we bought our place in Brooklyn, we weren’t considering school districts,” he says. Growing up on Long Island, he knew about Sea Cliff and was certain it was the kind of community they were looking for: “a suburb that doesn’t feel like the suburbs.” Plus, he has friends here, and they fell in love with the fourth house they looked at.
Another plus: meeting musicians Matt Schneider and Frank Ferrara who now play in his band.
“The caliber of musicianship in the area is unbelievable,” says Friedman.
Friedman completed the recording last year, and the album was released in January. Since then, he has been booking gigs and promoting his music. His live shows can range from the minimalist acoustic set to a full sound 10-piece band that includes a horn section; this is the way they will perform at Sea Cliff Beach on July 11.
The album has received positive reviews and is getting airplay on non-commercial stations locally, like WFUV, as well as around the country, particularly in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The songs have gotten so popular the band has booked gigs in those states this summer.
“It’s very exciting and I’m very humbled. After all this time away, I felt like I needed to get the songs out, if not for myself, for posterity, for my kids,” says Friedman. “The songs are about life, loss and love, they all come from the heart; I’m not trying to be commercial, just want to write something I can be proud of.”
His family is very supportive and music may be in the genes of his kids. His daughter is taking piano and violin lessons and has a “great voice,” he says. His 2-year-old son has also been caught singing a lullaby to himself—a song that, naturally, Friedman wrote for him.
Aside from the upcoming show at Sea Cliff Beach, he will be at the Port Washington Library in October. Visit www.rogerstreetfriedman.com and find his videos on YouTube.