|Dimensions||14 × 12.5 × 1 cm|
This is fitzy in mellow mode, perched on a stool in an old wooden room in front of a couple of vintage mikes laying down his stuff on reel to reel tape. Features guitar, mandolin and banjo.
Hat Fitz – Play Me Sumthin New
Review by Ian Dearden
Sounding like the love child of Tom Waits and Bessie Smith, transplanted to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Hat Fitz (real name undisclosed) brings more than a touch of authentic country blues to his latest CD. Entirely solo, except from a couple of brief cameos from his long suffering partner “Co-Co” (real name also undisclosed), this album sounds like it was recorded in a tin shed somewhere in the Mississipi delta. In fact, it was recorded live to analog tape by Beachy Wild (is that a real name?) at Screamland Studios in a 6 hour session. It features Hat Fitz on those instantly recognizable, gravelly vocals, as well as his commendable chops on slide and acoustic guitar, fretted and unfretted banjos, and mandolins.
Neither the CD label, the CD cover, nor Hat Fitz’s website (www.hatfitz.net) reveal who wrote any of the 14 songs and two tunes on the album. I suspect that they are, by and large, if not totally, Hat Fitz originals, but if so they fall squarely within the country blues tradition. The recording process produces a CD which is (deliberately) low fi, and the collage of LPs on the rear of the CD cover from greats such as Mississipi John Hurt, Memphis Minnie and Leadbelly is a fair clue to the genealogy of the musical influences on these tracks.
You can hear Hit Fitz live, primarily in his duo format of Hat Fitz & Itchy (real name not disclosed) just about anywhere on the eastern seaboard of Australia in coming months – he’s a hard gigging bluesman! This is blues with style, skill, heart and humour, and you’d do well to give it a home in your household
“If it’s steady, rollin’ blues you want then Hat Fitz, the wild man from Oz, accompanied by his drummer/washboard sidekick, was just the ticket. More than one person has compared him to the new sensation Seasick Steve and he did not disappoint, chugging away prolifically with Miss Mabel Blues in particular. Funny thoughts some¬times creep into your head and I couldn’t help wondering what these two, plus the Saltfishforty boys, would have sounded like together. Maybe an ardent clubber will know if they actually did get it together.” Review by Shetland Times
“Anyone who has seen Hat Fitz perform …. knows how the big man can stir up an audience with his wild, frantic interpretations of early Delta blues classics and self-penned songs… Fitzy would have to be Australia’s foremost purveyor of authentic pre-War Delta blues.” Review by Al Hensley, ‘Rhythms’
“My sincere compliments on the quality of the music. I listened and liked what I heard, this is music I can and do enjoy” Review by Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records, Chicago, U.S.A.
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