Donnie Fritts: Oh My Goodness

Muscle Shoals stalwart doesn’t disappoint.

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Kris Kristofferson’s favourite keyboards player Donnie Fritts keeps his releases sparse, no doubt happy to live off royalties for co-writing Breakfast In Bed. He’s missing a trick.

Civil Wars’ John Paul White and Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner leapt at the chance to produce his fourth album in 40 years and results are pleasing. The Arthur Alexander cut If It’s Really Got To Be This Way still jerks the tear ducts, but this isn’t pure nostalgia.

For every Spooner Oldham, John Prine or David Hood there’s a Jack White or Dylan LeBlanc cameo. Fritts is placed centre stage: his agreeably creaky vocal and moody Wurlitzer prevail. Here’s the sound of old schoolers, passing on a mantle and not ready to let go. Funky Donnie flags it as his last shot, so the title track breathes a sigh of resigned, churchy emotion, but with an earthy chuckle. Might be time for another.