Jonny Fritz Announces New Album ‘Dad Country’ + Free Download‏

February 23, 2013




Chances are, you may already have encountered Jonny under his previous guise as Jonny Corndawg, or possibly through his collaborations with Dawes, Deer Tick and Middle Brother, amongst others, but now he’s back with a new album and his real name. ‘Dad Country’, produced by Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and largely recorded in Jackson Browne’s LA studio, features a backing band consisting of the full Dawes line-up along with members of Caitlin Rose’s band. It will see its European release through Loose on the 15th April.

Nashville, TN; January 2013: Nashville songwriter Jonny Fritz’s work ethic and boldness have paid off in spades. It’s been a big year for Jonny with opening stints for Alabama Shakes, Deer Tick, Dawes, Shooter Jennings and kudos from CMT and Rolling Stone, among many others. He’s signed a deal with Loose Music in Europe and ATO Records in the US (he actually signed the deal with gravy at Nashville landmark Arnold’s Country Kitchen), and his third full-length album, Dad Country, is set for release on April 15, 2013. Dad Country is also his first release under his real name Fritz with Jonny ditching the “Corndawg” moniker he’d carried since his early teens.

Like his songwriting heroes Tom T. Hall, Michael Hurley, Roger Miller and Clint Black, Jonny can turn phrases ’til you’re dizzy, all while plucking your heartstrings or capturing a sharp, lonesome vulnerability that never seems lost or brooding. Produced by Jonny and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, recorded at Jackson Browne’s Los Angeles studio and finished up in Music City, USA; this breakthrough album balances Jonny’s trademark earthy humor and unfiltered worldview with some of his darkest material to date. Co-producer Goldsmith says, “Funny as they can be at moments, his songs access realities and experiences that we’re all familiar with but sometimes fail to consider the depths of.” Dad Country has a Nashville sound kept aloft on a sure Southern Californian wind, no doubt from the influence of his backing band: Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Tay Strathairn and Wylie Gelber of Dawes, and his Nashville band: Spencer Cullum Jr, Joshua Hedley, Taylor Zachry and Jerry Pentecost.

After a decade spent on the road, it was well-earned luck that brought Jonny together with dream team that would bring Dad Country to life. Originally scheduled to record at another Los Angeles studio, Jonny and Goldsmith were left scrambling for a backup plan when their original producer fell through. As it happened, they were playing a show in Hollywood that week and Jackson Browne was in attendance. After the show, Browne approached Jonny and, learning of their troubles, generously offered up his studio. Just three weeks later, they were all holed up at Browne’s recording the new songs.”It was really spontaneous,” says Jonny. In just four days, they pounded out 14 tracks in one long, inspired rush and this excitement pervades the record. Jonny later decided to re-record two of the songs that had evolved significantly on the road — the Red Simpson-esque “Fever Dreams” and down-home lament “Ain’t It Your Birthday” — using his own band back in Nashville. With these, the record was ready.

Born in Montana and raised in Virginia, Jonny grew up in the middle of mountains and weirdos of every allegiance, developing a blind man’s ear for the slightest turn in a tale or human voice. He dropped out of school and left home early, totally undaunted, and toured the country on his motorcycle, selling just enough music to keep his freedom and stay ahead of bitterness. “If I could sell three CDs a night, I would have enough for gas and to make it to the next town.” Cramming six lifetimes into six years and collecting triumphs and heartaches every corner of the globe, he eventually wound his way toward Tennessee. “Not because I wanted to break in over on Music Row and ‘make it,’ because I knew I didn’t really belong there,” he says. “I wanted to learn the ways of country music … to get my education in this cool old world that exists only in Nashville.”

While immersing himself in the music world, Jonny began running marathons from Philadelphia to Barcelona and pounding out his signature leather works — the dog collars and guitar straps — seen all over Nashville and half the musical universe. Life has never been better for Jonny Fritz. He’s back in Nashville and putting down roots. “It just keeps getting better. The band is getting paid, I’m getting paid, everybody’s happy, and we’re packing ’em in when we play.This is the dream life. I couldn’t really ask for anything else.”

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