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Michael Fracasso "Here Come the Savages"

Nashville has been rocking hard this past week! It has been a joy to behold the likes of Boz Scaggs, Ann Wilson, Wynonna Judd, and Emmylou Harris at DylanFest last Tuesday, The Hard Working Americans block party on Monday and Tom Petty and Mudcrutch a couple of nights ago at The Ryman. It has been a celebration of sorts for me as well, as it was 45 years ago that I started working in the music industry. I think 45 is a nice music biz milestone, it should come with a small disc , 45 RPM, and one of those adaptors that looks like it is a symbol from another civilization.

Being up close to watch careers take hold, it always amazes me about the lottery that leads to the grand prize, becoming a household name. That is ever more difficult to do these days, with limited radio airplay from city to city. It used to be different when rock was new.

We have a premier for you today from someone who should be a household name, Michael Fracasso. His new album comes out next Friday, June 10th. Here's what Michael had to say about writing the title song:

'Here Come the Savages' was written after we heard the news that Davy Jones had died. I wrote it in a stream of consciousness thinking of all the pain this world can inflict on you. It was initially written on mandolin but when we went to record it, the instrument no longer held any mystique. We tried guitar with the same result. Then producer Jim Lewis said play it on piano (where I had to now rewrite the song) and everyone but George Reiff and myself went to lunch. George heard me working on it and said to me it was time to put it down. It was one take and we knew we were finished. —Michael Fracasso

Today, Music Fog brings you the title track, “Here Come the Savages." 

- Jessie Scott


Gary Nicholson "Soft Spot"

The last Monday in May is upon us, the day Americans set aside to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our democracy. A moment of silence here as we honor them. Respect, civility, and compassion are seemingly lacking in today’s hyper political climate, where soldiers are lauded, but not taken care of when they return from service. Though Veteran’s Day is later in the year, I want to tell you about some artists who give back in a unique way.

Back in November, I met Mary Judd, the Executive Director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, at The Mansion On O in DC, along with founder and Creative Director (and friend) Darden Smith. The songwriters involved join as much for their expertise of craft as their ability to collaborate. The idea is to translate the Vets’ struggles with the aftermath of combat into songs. The reality is when those songs come to life they evoke a flash of universality for the listener. And the acceptance, the ability to communicate, provides a bridge to healing. Contributions of time and love come from Radney Foster, Jay Clementi, Darrell Scott, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Ashley Cleveland, Marshall Crenshaw, Mary Gauthier, Brad Parker, Georgia Middleman, Greg Trooper, and Gary Nicholson. Many of these folks are friends, and some have even graced the pages of Music Fog, like Gary, whom we filmed the first time at AmericanaFest in 2011.

Gary Nicholson is a GRAMMY© Award winning songster. He writes impeccably hooky music, sometimes salty and sometimes sweet. He is setting out for a Texas tour in June, including a few dates with his side blues project the Whitey Johnson Band. Go see him; his music will enrich your life. Music Fog caught back up with him at the end of January at 3rd & Lindsley Backstage in Nashville, where he was joined by maestro Colin Linden. Today’s video is one of compassion from Gary Nicholson. You may start hearing this song at rallys, as Presidential candidates campaign over the next few months. Here's “Soft Spot.”

- Jessie Scott