Taken from the full-length Little Wretches album, Undesirables and Anarchists, Robert Wagner plays the song “All Of My Friends” on his solo-offering, Live at the Mattress Factory. Meant as a solo performance, Robert is joined by long-time Little Wretches bandmate, David Maund on violin, offering an elegant melody to the acoustic Americana/ Folk strumming from Robert Wagner. All Of My Friends is a clever, and witty song shedding humor, and insight into the lifestyle of Robert Wagner, as his friends are questionable influences on him, (and I believe he is too), as he casts a musical tapestry of life in his inner circle; “All of my friends are on somebody’s list of Undesirables and Anarchists. It’s not even safe to admit that your one of my friends.”
Robert Wagner goes on to tell more interesting character quirks from “All Of My Friends” utilizing rich metaphor and colorful language as he connects with his listener. This track is clever in other ways, as the musicality lends to the overall theme. Instead of using traditional open chords, I hear sixth chords and inverted chords being utilized. Is this a deliberate songwriting strategy or incidental? This use of chords with vibrant overtones helps capture the witticism of Robert Wagner’s subject, giving his friends character and personality.
Like the live version, this track captures the same feel and emotion of the studio release, with the vocals being presented at the forefront of the mix. The guitars are present and ring out nicely, while the violin accompaniment sits back in the mix giving an incidental feel which for the sake of the harmony plays like a fill instead of a main part of the melody. The live performance brings out more of the genre’s true character, as the listener does feel more connected with the artist in this format. I truly enjoyed the Little Wretches studio recording of the track, and feel Robert Wagner has delivered a beautiful rendition of it to grow his ever-expanding listener base.