Starbucks and headphones would for sure help me get the job done.
I always love the process of writing music reviews, but getting started is the hardest part. Luckily with “Man Like Me,” I was instantly transported to peaceful, green, simpler times. I went to look up Greg Felden after listening the first time, and you betcha, there were pictures of a bearded man with nice eyes and nature – things you would expect after listening to this song. He ranks among Old Crow Medicine Show and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Another listen brought two new realizations: 1) I really like this song, and 2) the guitar part at the beginning really reminds of Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. This song was taking me home.
I was glad to be along for the ride as the distressed wood and coffee grounds faded away. I wanted to be sitting on a log, eyes closed so I could smell the campfire smoke better, just listening.
When do we ever just listen anymore?
Felden lets me do just that. His voice gently lays across the heavy, harmonious guitar. There is a depth and a tenderness to his timbre. It feels like he was made for acoustic, intimate shows. He has stories to tell, and a beautiful way to tell them. I would love to see him live, in his element, just singing and sharing his life with the crowd.
In regards to “Man Like Me,” Felden’s story is sweet, pure, and emotional. He is honest in his declaration of the stories of these people and himself. And although he is tragically alone in this story, he is asking for love with a hope and energy that makes the listener eager to follow along. For example, he sings lyrics like this:
I’m all alone,
without a friend.
They hurt. But then he will confidently warble out a tune with words like this:
There’s no other man I’d like to be,
and tell me – could you love a man like me?
It inspires. Felden doesn’t just pull at your heartstrings with this song; he plays them. Despite the complexity of the heart-wrenching tale, and the powerful weight of Felden’s song in general, there is a simplicity that comes from the fun of the instruments and lightheartedness of his tone. I smiled to myself as I listened.
As “Man Like Me” played for an uncounted time, nine o’clock arrived. Starbucks was closing down and I was ready for rest. I headed home thanking Greg Felden for the wilderness and emotion he instilled in my mind with his music. It was pure and simple and beautiful as music should be.