Michael Cormier has a pretty cushy job situation when you think about it. He works out in the verdant hills of Swarthmore doing landscaping. His employers have a garage apartment where he gets to live; it’s also a space for his bandmates in the emerging Philly country-folk trio Friendship to rehearse every week. There are two bus lines, a train and a trolley nearby that can get him into and out of Philly with ease. I ask if he’s working for a school, or a business, or something of that nature; Cormier shakes his head. It’s private property, and he’s working for the family that owns it.
“He’s like the help in Downton Abbey,” jokes Dan Wriggins, the soft-spoken singer guitarist in Friendship. They run through some of Cormier’s other day jobs, all of which are fascinating by metropolitan office-life standards: baking bread in England while studying abroad for three months, baking bread in rural Ohio, working on a lobster fishing boat in midcoast Maine. That last job is actually one he shared with Wriggins and Peter Gill, the pedal steel guitarist in Friendship, when they all lived up north.
“We all grew up in the same town outside of Portland, called Yarmouth, so we’ve always played music together,” says Cormier. This is their first cohesive project, though. “We’ve worked on Pete’s stuff, we’ve worked on my stuff, we’ve worked on Dan’s stuff, and now it’s like fused together.”
This January, the three lifelong friends decided to take the next step with their music; in January, they moved to Philadelphia, a full day’s drive from the area where they grew up, to launch the band. Continue reading →