Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The artist formerly known as Jonny Corndawg reverts to his birth name and gets an unexpected boost from recent fan Jackson Browne for his third release. The 12 tracks breeze by in under 35 minutes and proves that brevity works to Fritz’s advantage as he gets in, tells his usually wryly humorous, true life stories about forgetting to take out the garbage (“Trash Day”), shacking up with strangers on the road (“Goodbye Summer”) and having more sex (“Holy Water”), lets his top notch country band provide the zippy backing and moves on. Browne caught his act in Hollywood and gave him the use of his studio where Fritz laid down these road tested ditties in four days. The stories are typically droll, but the accompaniment is solid, sturdy, old school country played by veterans who know how to keep things tight yet loose. “Nobody’s going to let you forget who they are,” he observes in “Social Climbers” one of Fritz’s observations on life in the entertainment biz. He goes sort of swampy reggae in “Shut Up,” a treatise on a domestic argument gone bad complete with a nifty guitar solo from Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith. It’s one of two songs he has revived and rearranged from an overlooked 2007 album. Everything is not all fun and games though, especially on “All We Do Is Complain,” a song about his own recent dissolved relationship and “Fever Dreams” where he recounts the horrors of getting sick on the road, but you get the sense Fritz doesn’t take most things too seriously. Except his music, of which this is some of his best.