Heather Beal - What Say You?

In the nation of the nanosecond, where the “better faster cheaper – yesterday” mantra of mass production seems to echo in all directions, I’ve found a band that seems like the musical equivalent of slow food: Strange Friends. Fresh. Local. Authentic. Evocative. One-of-a-kind.

The words matter as much as the melody and the two, when blended, can’t be beat.

This is music, not muzak.

It swirls around you and sweeps you into it. Suddenly, you’re listening. Laughing. Remembering. At times, you’re stunned silent, shaken to the core. At others, you’re exhilarated or amused.

Strange Friends plays pure rock n’ roll: created and refined by the hearts, hands, and heads of the musicians who make it; mixed in rare measure with other genres (familiar and foreign to me); and presented live to audiences in venues where the facial expressions, movements, and gestures of band members are still visible; the intricate, nuanced sounds clearly audible.

The Strange Friends sing openly and honestly about tender regret, joy, passion and compassion, brutal reality and hard-learned lessons, strength and fragility, love. Life. The full, rich range of human emotions and experience laced, at times, with humor and, always, with optimism.
Recently, for the first time since compact disks became prevalent, I realized I might actually wear out the two Strange Friends CDs I own. From use. From enjoyment.

And that would be a beautiful thing!


-- Heather Beal, Writer, Artist, Activist