Todd Fritsch,
(Diamond, 2007)

Texan and true cowboy singer Todd Fritsch has released his fourth CD, Sawdust. You might have already heard the single or seen the video for "What's Wrong With Me." My bet is you are already a fan of the man if you have had that pleasure. If not, then you have some catching up to do. This artist is worth checking out for your country collection.

"If You Don't Like Country (Time to Leave)" describes Todd to a T. This boy is country and he shouts it loud. As he sings in the lyrics "If we catch you puttin' country down well son you got a fight. / Don't ask me for P-Diddy, Snoop Dog, or Dr. Dre. / I'm 100% country and I plan to stay that way." This song has a lot of energy. The promotional material states that it is a favorite when he plays live. (Psst, Todd. This song rocks!)

"A Walk to Remember" is my favorite track on Sawdust. In the promotional material, it mentions that this piece is special to Todd as he was working on the song with a friend who unfortunately passed away. This is one of those ballads that reminds you how special life is. "I went for a walk just the other day. / My wife and I talked and our kids played. / I said most folks live their lives too fast. / They look for tomorrow as today flies past. / Can't they see time has wings. / They should stop and notice all the little things. ... God made these things for us to treasure. / To make life better and to give us pleasure. / And to make this walk on Earth a walk to remember."

If you have Todd's self-titled CD, then you'll hear "First Date (For the Last Time)" again. But that's OK. This is a good track. I cannot discern much of a difference between the two versions even played back to back, so I can only think it was repeated on this album to release as a single. The sentiment is that the singer goes on a date with a lady for the first time and they both know the other is "The One." They will never have need to go out on dates again because they will be together for the rest of their lives.

Todd is supported by the Cuttin' Crew on Sawdust. This group also backed Todd up on his self-titled CD, so you might be familiar with their talents. Doug Deforest plays bass. Tim Crouch can be found on the fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and banjo. Robby Springfield prefers the electric guitar, steel guitar and dobro. R.P. Harrell is on keyboards. Mike Kennedy is on drums and percussion. Additional musicians include Andy Rees (electric guitar), Joe Bob Barnhill (acoustic guitar), Andrew Frye (piano), Allen Huff (accordion and piano), Travis Toy (dobro) and Dennis Wage (Hammond B3). Background vocals are provided by Doug Deforest, Amy Driesel, Billy Joe French, Sarah Jo Roark, Chuck Young and Joe Young.

As I mentioned, Sawdust is Todd Fritsch's fourth CD. His prior releases include American Cowboy, Simple Things and Todd Fritsch. Sawdust combines more traditional country with some crossover tracks as well as several ballads and even what Todd describes as a "cowboy campfire" song. If there is one issue I have with Sawdust it is that, even though it is almost a double album, it is too short with only 17 tracks. When the last song trails off, I want more!

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Wil Owen

3 November 2007

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