I Am Free
Originally released in 1995, before the Internet explosion that enabled indie musicians to release and promote records on their own without being dependent on a label, this heartwarming folk record deserves a wider audience. Singer/songwriter Will Diehl is one of those artists who usually falls through the cracks. I have a library filled with them, in fact — talented musicians who, for one reason or another, haven’t gotten the widespread recognition they deserve.
Part of it has to do with marketing. This isn’t MTV fluff, nor is it an edgy work for college radio. Rather, it’s an easy listening record that gradually reveals its subtle charms. Recorded in the gloom and doom of the ’90s, this record speaks nothing of the decade it originated from. Diehl will most likely remind you of mellow rockers from the ’70s, like Dan Fogelberg and Bread.
The song titles (“You Are the Warmth,” “True Love,” “Real Love,” etc.) tell you what to expect. For those with no appetite for folk, Diehl won’t change your mind; however, only a person with a heart of stone could hate music this friendly and gentle. Diehl’s guitar playing is soothing and his voice goes down like warm milk in a thunderstorm.
Will Diehl: www.willdiehl.com