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While Kurt Fortmeyer's previous release "One More Night In Nashville" was pretty much a straight ahead traditional country album, folks familiar with his background and his musical influences will not be surprised by the breadth of his upcoming CD "Ameraucana". There are still some stone country tracks for the hardcore purists, such as the Bakersfield romp of "Merle Go 'Round" and the breakup song inspired by the Old Testament wisdom of King Solomon "Can't Cut The Baby In Half". But there's also the Merle Haggard-meets-Bob Dylan-at-Kris Kristofferson's-house vibe of the social/political protest "Jesus Wouldn't Do It That Way", the Pink Floyd/Neil Young-sounding Vietnam veteran's PTSD story "All Fall Down", and the spaghetti western bluegrass song about a man who finds grace through an organ transplant "The Heart Of A Hobo".
Kurt's slightly twisted sense of humor shows through on the Hee Haw-sounding tale of a perpetual good guy who decides to turn his life around "Snugglin' With My Demons", the acoustic barnyard stomp about a rooster with a bad attitude "The Wrong Side Of The Roost", and the "Dr. John meets Leon Redbone under an overpass in southern Lousiana" blues about someone who complains all the time "Call The Bitchdoctor On You".
The blue-eyed (well, hazel-eyed in Kurt's case) southern soul version of the live show favorite "What's Not To Love About That", the Trop Rock "A Beer In The Hand", and the sung-from-the-point-of-view-of-a-house ballad of longing "A Woman's Touch" round out the CD.
Recorded with the same producer (Pat Lassiter) and most of the same players as his previous release, "Ameraucana" takes Kurt's stellar songwriting to a whole new sonic dimension.
And yes, Kurt knows that Ameraucana is a breed of chicken, and not a musical genre. He's just too much of a wiseass to care.
Fans of Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kris Kristofferson, and David Allan Coe should enjoy "One More Night In Nashville", the latest release from this North Carolina native currently residing in the hills northwest of Nashville.
From the twin fiddle kickoff of the opening track "(I Got My Heart) Broke In" to the last lonesome harmonica bend of the closer "I've Been There", Kurt takes the listener on a colorful and emotional meander through an eleven song set of what can be loosely categorized as (not today's) country music...four solo writes and seven co-writes with Nashville newcomers and old-timers, including hit writers Rich Fagan and Dave Gibson, and the Grammy-nominated Jeff Batson.
For fans of hardcore honkytonk music, Kurt sets up the bar with his tribute to the Georges "Dickel, Strait & Jones" and the sly "(A Man Can't Live On) Beer Alone". If busted relationships are your thing, the ragtime/New Orleans/blue yodel "Better Hearts Than Yours" takes a light-hearted poke at an ex. "A Thing Of The Past" will make you yearn for a love gone by, while the bluegrass song done Kentucky Headhunters-style "You Done Done It Now" offers up a darker solution. The Bob Seger-meets-Pete Seeger-on-Jimmy Buffett's-houseboat vibe of the economic protest "Not In My Backyard", the sad sentimental song about Grandpa "Inside That Box" the mad not-so-sentimental one about Dad "(All You Taught Me How To Do Was) Drink", and the struggling songwriter's lament of the title track round out the CD.
"This digital-only single is the perfect antidote for this harsh economic climate...a heaping helping of truth served with tongue only slightly in cheek. Musically, it harkens back to a place somewhere between Waylon Jennings' "'Honky Tonk Heroes' period and Merle Haggard's Golden Age Of Alcoholism In Country era. Lyrically, it's Kurt at his clever best."
Fans of Guy Clark, Tom Russell, Robert Earl Keen, and Kris Kristofferson will be saying “What’s Not To Love About That?” when they hear the latest CD from Nashville-by-way-of-North Carolina singer-songwriter Kurt Fortmeyer. Rooted firmly in the traditional storytelling styles of his heroes, Kurt delivers ten of his best on this self-released offering, three solo writes and seven co-writes with good friends such as Bo Thomas, CJ Watson, and Trent Jeffcoat…all but one written since he moved to Nashville.
With his acoustic guitar, his harmonicas, and his “I want to tell you a story” voice, Kurt takes his listeners on an emotional journey from the inspirational tale “My Dog Jesus” (he’s man’s best friend and then some) to the just-about-giving-up-hope honky-tonk of “I’m Not A Fool (I Just Play One On Jim Beam)”, the joys of love found in the soulful title track and “I’ve Fallen Awake” to the lost love lament “I Can’t Remember Mexico”, and the war-is-hell-on-the-home-front seriousness of “I Recall My Daddy” to the sublimely silly talking blues of “The One Hundred Letter Word”. Whether the listener wants to kick back or just kick, with the good mix of tempos on this CD, there is something for everyone here.
Recorded and produced at Rough Edges Studio in Nashville by Duane Sciacqua, whose professional credits include Rodney Atkins, Vince Gill, Glen Frey, and Paul McCartney, “What’s Not To Love About That?” is a must listen for folks who like their Americana on the acoustic folkie/country side. In addition to Kurt’s guitar and harmonicas, the CD is laden with Duane’s tasteful playing on the mandolin, dobro, and acoustic guitar. Jose Primero lends his accordion to a couple of tracks. Co-writer and good friend Bo Thomas added backing vocals on every track, and there is a special guest vocal appearance by Jessica Brooks on “Jack In Common”. Kurt even gets his family involved, with his wife and youngest daughter joining Bo, Jessica, and him for an album-closing gang chorus.