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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.