Grand Ole Echo - Jonny Fritz

The Echo & Grand Ole Echo Present

Grand Ole Echo - Jonny Fritz

Christian Lee Hutson, Matt Hopper, Mapache, Mister Paradise

Sunday June 4

6:00 pm

$11.50 - $14.50

This event is all ages

Grand Ole Echo
Grand Ole Echo
Jonny Fritz
Jonny Fritz
Jonny Fritz is back— with a new album, a new hip, and a new homebase in Los Angeles, California. When last we met our hero, Jonny had just wrapped up the purgative classic, Dad Country, his call to the rising generation for a renewed lyricism in country music, recorded in Jackson Browne’s personal recording studio and released by ATO records. Now in his newest, Sweet Creep, the lyricism returns, but with a wide hopeful grin. Recorded in Jim James’ makeshift hilltop studio in Montecito Heights, where golden twilight fills up thirsty grass valleys, Sweet Creep reverberates with the same feeling of sunny new vistas. From the empathetic “Are You Thirsty?” to the summer-crushy “Humidifier,” Sweet Creep is a freshly-signed lease on life, with the movers downstairs waiting by the truck.

For the couple years prior, Jonny hobbled around the globe on a hip
fractured in an ill-advised marathon run. He bounced between Malibu, New Delhi, Houston, Australia, Montana, Tokyo, Mount Hood, London then back again, looking for the right landing for the album, to no avail. He jumped from town to town and house and house, unpacking and packing up, with characteristic restlessness—until one day, the pieces all snapped together. A doctor looks up from the x-ray and wisely says “son, you need hip surgery.” Jonny finally buckles down in Los Angeles to make music and leatherwork because, as he puts it, “Nashville had gotten too LA for me.” And then with some welcome advice from Jim James, Jonny throws himself into Sweet Creep by stripping things down to the essentials. He gathered up the crew—Nashville’s Joshua Hedley and Dawes’ Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith—and literally recorded the whole album outdoors, in three days, underneath a tent purchased at Home Depot, with half the equipment “borrowed” from Guitar Center. The fresh air, freedom from studio pressures, and strong cups of tea all mix into the music, with ATVs briefly heard in the background and two senior tortoises listening at Hedley’s feet as he fiddles away. If as John Hartford tells us, “style comes from limitation,” Jonny credits Jim James for much of the pared-down and uninhibited sound of Sweet Creep. James encouraged the first takes, the simpler set-up, the outdoors, and the worry-free flow that coasts us from the first to the
last of the record.

Born in Montana and raised in Esmont, Virginia, Jonny has passed weeks in nearly every city in the United States, and plenty others overseas, cramming ten lives into one, and half his possessions into the garages of friends and well-wishers. But despite the vitalism and exploits he’s gained a name for, most of his music comes from the smaller moments. He takes a weird little piece of life, unnoticed by most, then steeps it in song until it’s ready for vinyl. The overlooked sorrows of a fellow party goer. The real tedium and pains-in-the-ass of touring life, rather than the mystique. An old residential hotel, once hidden back, but whose uncurtained windows now tell human stories to the drivers-by on a newly built highway. An impromptu songwriting session with a friend’s four-year old daughter that includes the line “I burped in my pants then the party was over” and ends in a cloud of Jonny’s laughter. In contrast to the heartsick Dad Country, the songs of Sweet Creep are, if not always brimming, at least fully accepting of his fortunes. On a song like “I Love Leaving,” Jonny even learns to love his own discontent, surmising “but me I hate talking ‘bout the good old days / I never want go down memory lane / I only want to get into the passing lane, and I’ve always been that way / I guess I love leaving, leaving when I said goodbye.”

Sure enough, for all the anguish it may sometimes bring him, we have this discontent to thank for Jonny’s tremendous creative range—his It’s-a-Fritz leatherwork seen on stars and stages all over, his forays into character acting and hosting his own variety show Who’s That Singin’, his public love of vehicles, country legend, chill animals, and craft of any kind—not to mention the constant stream of deep goofing that turns even his average days into a show well worth watching. Jonny is a torchbearer in that celebrated country music tradition of giant-sized personalities overflowing into song. John Hartford, Roger Miller, Billy Joe Shaver—fans look to these country musicians for more than just music strictly speaking. They look for life, for outrageous legend—for a showmanship on and offstage that Jonny Fritz will never fail to deliver. He might not have shot anybody, or spent any considerable time in prison, but in Sweet Creep, he reminds himself and his fans, that sometimes great lives can also be pretty good ones.
Christian Lee Hutson
Christian Lee Hutson
To call Christian Lee Hutson an old soul would be to deny the vibrancy of his sound. Hutson’s songs have been championed by LA Record as "sparse and graceful" and by Folkadelphia as “(Having) the feel of having been scrawled on whiskey-stained napkins while the house country band plays us into the lonesome night. A mass for the brokenhearted.” Hutson’s work – while rooted in country tradition – vibrates with a youthful energy, as if a drunk and sedentary George Jones was being channeled through a drunk and animated Conor Oberst.

Hutson’s debut E.P. Will Never Break Up marked his stylistic shift away from the dustbowl-era sound of his defunct band The Driftwood Singers in favor of a more recent tradition of country songwriting in the vein of Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle, a lean toward modernity that continued with Hutson's first full-length release The Hell With It. Hutson's second album, Yeah Okay I Know, is being released in installments of one song a month over the course of 2014 and finds him once again working with Grammy-nominated producer David Mayfield.

Christian Lee Hutson tours across the U.S. and back like a man burning demons as fuel. He’s shared many a stage with notable performers like Damien Jurado, Ralph Stanley, and Father John Misty, so come out and join him for a sour, non-alcoholic (one day at a time) drink of some sort and some newborn songs that retain a feel so well-worn, weathered, and welcoming that they whimper and creak as they pull a stool out for you at the bar and slobber cheap tequila all over your new shirt.

"Christian Lee Hutson's got a voice with some serious songwriting chops." - We Denton Do It

"He has something strange, something honest, the kind of thing that can scare a room of strangers because they can see themselves in a person they’ve never met. There’s an honesty to what he does that most people will never understand. He's the real deal, no gimmick, no horse-shit. It’s not cute, it’s not pretty, it’s real in a way I don’t even want to think about."

- Robbie Pfeffer (Rubber Brother Records)

"If you love him even half as much as I do, you'll already love him twice as much as he loves himself." - David Mayfield
Mapache is an acoustic duo from Glendale, California. Taking influence from artists such as Gillian Welch, The Louvin Brothers, The Band, and The Grateful Dead, Mapache brings a new sound of california conscious country/folk. Clay Finch (acoustic guitar/vocals) and Sam Blasucci (dobro/vocals) met in 2011 and have been writing and performing music ever since.
Mister Paradise
Mister Paradise
California-based country band.
Venue Information:
The Echo
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026