Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal On his new album, Dad Country, the Nashville singer-songwriter emerges from behind the moniker Jonny Corndawg to reveal a more serious side. In several songs on the new record, he draws on a year he spent trying to salvage a relationship.
NPR logo

Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/179020305/179088960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal

Review

Music Reviews

Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/179020305/179088960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, some music to close out the hour. It comes from Nashville singer-songwriter Jonny Fritz who recently released his debut album, but it's not his first album. His previous releases came under an assumed name.

Music critic Robert Christgau has this review of the new Jonny.

ROBERT CHRISTGAU, BYLINE: "Dad Country" is actually Jonny Fritz's third album, only he recorded the first two as Jonny Corndawg - D-A-W-G - dawg. I enjoyed his 2011 album "Down on the Bikini Line," but it's so much slighter, so much sillier and more risque that at first I didn't connect the two. From the new album's first seconds, Jonny Fritz is more intense and pained.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, ""GOODBYE SUMMER")

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FEVER DREAMS")

CHRISTGAU: The reference to Jonny Fritz's manager is not atypical. When you listen close, you realize this record could be classified as that cliche of cliches, a plaint about the musician's life. The reason you don't notice is that Fritz makes his songs about the wrong crowd and driving 250 miles to a hometown that's lost to him forever seem pretty universal.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AIN'T IT YOUR BIRTHDAY")

CHRISTGAU: According to Fritz, "Dad Country" has a back story - the year he spent trying to salvage the relationship here memorialized in at least three songs. One is called "Shut Up," another one "Have You Ever Wanted to Die." But tempos being what they are, the saddest of all is the slowest - "All We Do Is Complain." Jonny isn't acting silly anymore.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL WE DO IS COMPLAIN")

CORNISH: The album from Jonny Fritz is called "Dad Country." Our reviewer is Robert Christgau.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL WE DO IS COMPLAIN")

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.