Michael Fracasso

Red Dog Blues (Little Fuji)

Texas Platters

Michael Fracasso

Red Dog Blues (Little Fuji)

Michael Fracasso will always be a songwriter's songwriter even though his high, delicate tenor sometimes distracts from the intensity and intricacy of his compositions. Things aren't drastically different on his sixth disc, as the local veteran again demonstrates an uncanny ability to write tunes that seem instantly familiar. Red Dog Blues is a travelogue of sorts through the American South led by uncommon war ballad "Red White and Blue." "Hurricane," written before Katrina, is prophetically chilling, while Fracasso also cracks wise at "Texas music" with "Texas Lost Highway." Producer David Hamburger (Grassy Knoll Boys) brings a jangly sense to the proceedings that recalls Marshall Crenshaw, and the addition of horns on a couple of tracks leads the proceedings into occasional new territory for the singer. After a three-year wait, Fracasso's army of fans will love his new batch of songs. Others will probably shrug, unsettled by his otherworldly twang.

***.5

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