Songwriter Roger Street Friedman has lived a familiar story we hear often and know all too well, the one where a musician veers off to the uncharted road to follow his passion, leaving his family and life behind. Music is a calling for many and it often uproots people from their daily lives. It becomes an excessive balancing act. Friedman shares how he copes with this predicament and manages to keep it all together on the road in his newest song “Carry Me.”
“I wrote the majority of ‘Carry Me’ when I was down in Nashville after a day of co-writing sessions,” Friedman told American Songwriter. “I was in an empty, rented house in East Nashville and feeling lonely and far away from my wife and kids up North. The song is about how this is who I am. I’m a writer and a singer and a performer and this is what I’m called to do, but coming back to it later in life, I have a family and a wife and responsibilities, so it’s a balancing act. I’m leaving home to tour, leaving home to write. And while trying to balance that with staying connected to the home-front is tricky, that connection is always in my heart, no matter what.”
“Carry Me” is one of twelve tracks from Friedman’s upcoming record Rise, expected in April. The single has its roots in folk-country with classic banjo, fiddle, and twangy electric guitar, but also dishes up elegant vocal harmonies sewn into the chorus, emphasizing the song’s versatility. The poise of the arrangements and perfected production is enough to attract even the most unresolved listeners. Friedman’s lyrics: ‘A man just can’t change his stripes. I will ride the road for the rest of my life. The road will lead where the road will lead, I will carry you with me, will you carry me with you,’ depicts the narrative and his internal struggle as a character in it, while sharing a vulnerability in songwriting, a facet of himself he unveils throughout the record.
“This album to me represents an evolution of my writing in that it is deeply personal and honest, while being reflective of the messy realities of life,” said Friedman. “Whether it’s a song about relationships or the state of the world, it’s all messy and not buttoned up. Even the love songs show both the trials and the triumphs like ‘Carry Me’, while songs like ‘Last Train to Babylon’, ‘The War Is Already Over’ and ‘Rise’, embody the zeitgeist of current events in that whether things will get better or worse is an open question. I think for me there’s a rawness and an honesty in the writing and a discomfort that, to me means I struck a nerve.”
Just like the plot in “Carry Me” Friedman will continue to follow his dreams on tour, beginning March 5 at City Winery in Nashville, the first of over a dozen shows across the country.