Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Constant Companion

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Constant Companion was Ruthann Friedman's lone album. Originally released in 1969, its stripped-bare style floats alongside Clouds, Joni Mitchell's record of that year. Friedman's vocals and plucked acoustic guitar are dressed only in filmy fabric and misty morning echo, like she's singing her songs to gathered lovers and friends after a night of wine and whatever else. She lived in that famed California scene too — Friedman performed at the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival alongside Mitchell and Joan Baez. But Companion resonates today not as a dog-eared memory, but for its arresting ability to rumple the era's psychedelic themes and folk structure with moments of unique beauty and sudden tales of warning. Hindsight might label "Fairy Prince Rainbow Man" as redundant whimsy. But Friedman's character is a bringer of dreams who's fated to die mysteriously, having "hidden himself for his love of the sun." "People" too is a lament, with the scratchy ache in Friedman's voice pleading for something real, or the recognition that Left Coast bohemia isn't necessarily paradise. With its searching themes, gorgeous artwork and evocative photography of the artist's penetrating eyes, Companion thrives as both a welcome reissue and provoking listen for all the mornings of today.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Johnny Loftus

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation