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Todd Fritsch

Todd Fritsch – 2005 (Dressed2Kill)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Todd Fritsch

On the outside of the Todd Fritsch self-titled album's CD booklet is a warning: "Caution! Contains Real Country Music!"

The Texan doesn't disappoint on the warning, delivering a 12-song self-titled album filled with toe-tapping barroom anthems and heartfelt ballads. Fritsch, who won the European Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year award, knows how to pull at the heartstrings with songs like "I Don't Live Here Anymore," about a man coming to terms with the end of a relationship. He also shines on the poignant tale of young love "First Date (For the Last Time)."

But it's Fritsch's ability to transport the listener into a Texas honky-tonk that separates him from his peers in today's country music scene. Like George Strait and the late Chris LeDoux before him, Fritsch doubles as a rancher. His authenticity shows on the rollicking "Bob Wills Song," the hilarious "Friends Behind Bars" and his tribute to LeDoux - "Cowboy Legacy."

He covers Eddy Raven's "I Got Mexico" and adds more twang to the classic tune, but his style is little too fast paced for a 'relaxing on the beach' song. The ballad "You Know I Would" is an anomaly on the disc as it comes off a bit sappy, proving that Fritsch should stick to his honky tonk guns.