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Michael Fracasso

A Pocketful of Rain – 2004 (Lone Star/Texas Music Group)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Michael Fracasso

You don't really listen to a Michael Fracasso album. It comes in through the ears all right, a gentle blend of Fracasso's beautifully scuffed Jimmie Dale Gilmore-trios-with-the-Everly Brothers vocals and the sonic quilt of his sprawling roots rock/Texas blues/high country/folk pop/gospel sound.

But Fracasso's gently insistent songwriting, full of familiar words and phrases in totally unique settings, isn't heard so much as it is absorbed through the skin. Fracasso's fifth album since his 1993 debut "Love & Trust" is another marvel of his cross genre brilliance; the shimmery Dylanesque "Silver Spoon," the swaying pop wonder of "All or Nothing" (featuring Patty Griffin on harmonies), the Beatles-up-the-country title cut, the loping Warren Zevon-thumb-wrestles-John Prine blues of "Mean Ol' Place."

Lyle Lovett got rich playing music half as interesting and varied as this. Fracasso deserves better than the mountains of critical acclaim he's received. Someone needs to put their money where his mouth is.