Jonny FritzDad Country(ATO)Rating: 3. 5 out of 5 starsStream the album The artist formerly known as Jonny Corndawg reverts to his birth name and gets an unexpected boost from recent fan Jackson Browne for his third release. The 12 tracks breeze by in under 35 minutes and proves that brevity works to Fritz’s advantage as he gets in, tells his usually wryly humorous, true life stories about forgetting to take out the garbage (“Trash Day”), shacking up with strangers on the road (“Goodbye Summer”) and having more sex (“Holy Water”), lets his top notch country band provide the zippy backing and moves on.
Country music loves a smartass. Every generation has some figure, beloved or otherwise, who cracks wise against a pedal steel or a banjo, who subverts the genre’s conventions from the inside. The trick is to sound like you love the form you’re satirizing—and not everyone can pull it off. In the ‘70s, Kinky Friedman made country music that was simultaneously hilarious and angry, dissecting the genre’s institutionalized discrimination from an outsider’s point-of-view.