We had the good fortune of connecting with Mad Dog Friedman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mad Dog, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Starting my own band after 50 years of playing in bands, in which I was limited in my ability to explore new sounds and ideas in my song writing and performance, was a considerable risk. To pursue my dream of starting an contemporary acoustic harmonica blues band, I had to let go of a successful band I played with about 10 years. This new unique sound blending mandolin, acoustic guitars, stand up bass and harmonica and melding the styles of traditional country blues with the “Colorado Sound” (jam grass) was not something I had heard before, so I had no idea of how it would go over with my fans. In my life I found magic in the process of letting go of what no longer serves me and getting clear about what it is I really want to do. This form of risk-taking has made me who I am today and is largely responsible for the success I have had as artist.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Mad Dog writes from the moment and sings from his heart. His influences include sources as divergent as William Butler Yeats & the delta blues. His songwriting is sincere, simple & often humorous. He has recorded over 30 solo & collaborative albums featuring his harmonica, Native American flute & Theremin. He is also a founding member of Mad Dog Blues ( www.ColoradoCountryBlues.com) and The Peddlers of Joy (www.PeddlersOfJoy.com).
Mad Dog Friedman, with the help of Michelle Miller-Bowman Whitmore, Director of Integrative Medicine for Longmont United Hospital, developed a Harmonicas for Health program (www.WeDontSuck.com) that helps seniors breathe better through playing harmonica.
Mad Dog as a visual artist goes by the name of M. D. Friedman and has created a collection of healing art (and synergistic musical compositions) called the “Visual Mantra Collection.” This project is free for anyone to use for personal healing at www.FineArtMandlas.com)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Other than music venues and art museums, I really have very low tolerance for city life. If I would take my best friend to the mountains and into the forests. For eating places in the Denver area, I really like City O’ City, the Watercourse, the Mercury Cafe and Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA. For music, I like Swallow Hill, Moe’s BBQ, Globe Hall and, of course, Red Rocks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am most grateful for each breath that comes bringing me life and allowing me to play my music; the love that comes and breathes life into my dreams; the support, creativity and raw brilliance of my bandmates; the never-ending love and inspiration of my wife. I also want to give a shout out my longtime musical partner, Jenn Cleary, for all the help she has given me along the way.
Other: Mad Dog Blues at www.ColoradoCountryBlues.com Peddlers of Joy at www.PeddlersOfJoy.com Liquid Light Press at www.LiquidLIghtPress.com Healing Music at www.CranialSacred.com Healing Art at www.FineArtMandalas.com The Poets Coop at www.PoetsCoop.org
Live Photos of Mad Dog with Arms Outstretched, Mad Dog Blues band, Mad Dog on Flute by Charla Harvey. The Visual Mantra, “Sacred Breath” by M. D. Friedman. Album Cover for Gratitude by Mad Dog Blues. Watercolor painting and cover design by M. D. Friedman