Who: Peter Friestedt
What: versatile guitarist capable of being an acoustic saint to an electric warrior
Sounds Like: the West Coast AOR blueprint
If you were to play the impressive self titled 2015 Champlin William Friestedt the most obvious names that would jump out at you would be the former Chicago keyboard/vocalist Bill Champlin and Toto’s lead vocalist Joseph Williams. But actually it is the way overlooked versatile guitarist Peter Friestedt who is the creative engine who has slowly driven the formation of this sensational group close to a two decade era.
However, we need to step back in time all the way to the late 90’s when at the age of 26 Peter Friestedt migrated to Los Angeles to continue his musical studies at the Los Angeles Music Academy. It was then he began to be recognized as a significant talent and also made great musical connections including the above mentioned Champlin and Williams who were an integrate part of Friestedt’s solo debut recording LA Project released in 2002. The album also featured two wonderful instrumentals “All Alone” and “Storyteller”. Six years later the even more confident Friestedt released the equally impressive LA Project II which also included the free flowing instrumental “Closer To Home” and the utterly stripped down reflective “Waiting For You”. A few of the songs on his sophomore effort were revisited on the 2011 self titled Williams Friestedt including the outstanding Toto-ish “Where To Touch You” as well as the simply sublime “Going Home” drenched in David Foster influences.
With Bill Champlin finally formally boarding the superstar-ship, the band released the “Live In Concert” DVD in 2012 followed 3 years later by the previously mentioned self titled Champlin William Friestedt. Featuring a free flowing Friestedt electric guitar work on the gorgeous “Aria” and his once again impeccable production and songwriting capabilities, Friestedt is frankly the original architect of this outstanding group.
With the EP 10 Miles released last year as a stop gap and we patiently await their brand new full length release. Nevertheless, the work of Peter Friestedt over the decades has been somewhat undiscovered in the mainstream musical world. But in the specialized world of West Coast AOR Soft Rock the guitarist, songwriter and producer Peter Friestedt is somewhat of a quiet legend, well revered to those that appreciate this brand of music. One can only hope that perhaps one day Friestedt will find the time to dedicate a recording to spotlight his instrumental guitar work that is so understated and underrated.
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