Having written songs recorded by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis while supporting greats in the legendary Muscle Shoals Studio and also serving as Kris Kristofferson’s keyboardist for over 40 years, Donnie Fritts has had an amazing musical career. For Oh My Goodness he has decided to step out of the assisting role into the spotlight showcasing his talents for a new generation and the end results are warm, flowing and bright.
Fritts easily maneuvers around these songs and stories with grace, vocally recalling Levon Helm while striking his own southern style. Producer John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars) expertly scales things back capturing Fritts perfectly as loads of top notch guests help accentuate the proceedings when needed. The opening track though is Donnie’s alone as Fritts works his Wurlitzer through a tale of fatherly love around and inbetween his syrupy vocals, an instant album highlight.Things get turned up for “Memphis Women & Fried Chicken” which is a grooving blues workout that is finger licking good showcasing the bass and electric guitar. Another mover and shaker is “Tuscaloosa 1962” which shimmies along with help from Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and John Prine. “Foolish Heart” incorporates some horn work, “Temporarily Forever Mine” increases the strings and “Good As New” let’s drummer Reed Watson get after it, pushing the tempo up and out.
The straining vocals of the disk closing title track are backed up brilliantly by Spooner Oldham’s piano but when the solo focus drops back to Fritts and his Wurlitzer on tracks like “The Oldest Baby in the World” or “Them Old Love Songs” Donnie’s elegance shines. That purr of the ol’ Wurly and the rolling vocal tone is as easy as a back porch sunset and Oh My Goodness as a whole plays just as sweet.