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North American Long Weekend

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Album Review

Tom Freund has delivered a solo debut album that comes to the public (for the most part) fully grown. It's loaded with self-assured power, and more importantly, a confidence in the tunes themselves that's striking. The feel of the album is steeped in Americana, with references to and influences by Holden Caufield, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Dylan. Some of Freund's vocals — and in fact the general musical approach on the album — is reminiscent of early Tom Waits. There are some excellent guest musical appearances on the record, most notably by jazz great Jimmy Smith on organ. Freund's early background includes stints with the L.A. band the Silos, as well as an excellent duet album with Ben Harper called Pleasure and Pain, which came out on the Cardas label. North American Long Weekend has indeed had a long gestation period, but it was well worth it. Freund's songs speak of searching for understanding and meaning in life, but they never sink into heavy-handed moralizing. The sound of the record is quite amazing to behold, and thanks to producer Margin Etzioni and engineer David Vaught, you have one of the best-sounding roots-oriented releases of this decade. The material is what really matters here, and what you will hear is first-rate.

Customer Reviews

Very cool vibe

I just saw Tom play at the Gram Fest in Joshua Tree and loved it. Seeing him perform "Digs" made me buy this album. We found him by accident and we are glad we did. Check him out and see him live if you can.

American Classic

This is one of my favorite albums from the past decade. Tom is really underappreciated by the masses. Give him a listen and you will be hooked.


A friend gave this to me while I was living in Maine, back in 1999. I wasn't into the singer/songwriter thing, but I gave it a listen to please my friend. I've never been so glad to give an album a listen, as I was blown away. "27", "More Than Necessary", "Lady Jane" - ten years later and they make me shiver. Although I have bought each of Tom's albums since, NALW stands out as my favorite (maybe as it was the first I had heard from him). Truly an amazing artist who deserves to be heard by a wider audience.


Genre: Folk

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Tom Freund, whose sound has garnered comparisons to Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones, released his debut album, North American Long Weekend, in 1998. The effort featured such accomplished guests as pedal steel player Greg Leisz and jazz organist Jimmy Smith. Freund, originally from New York, attended Claremont College in California in the early '90s and performed as a duo with future star Ben Harper. The two recorded a hard-to-find vinyl-only album in 1992 called Pleasure and Pain....
Full Bio
North American Long Weekend, Tom Freund
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Customer Ratings