Horses and Smoke, Ritt Deitz’ new album, his sixth on Uvulittle, was recorded live to open-reel tape last winter in Oregon, Wisconsin. Engineered and mixed by Bruce Kasprzyk, the album breathes with the authenticity that comes from years and years of playing with friends and family. Indeed, he's joined by his son Wilder on piano and his two core band members, Joe Meisel and Dave Foss. Madison fiddle wizard, Biff Blumfumgagnge sits in on two tracks (and mastered the album.)
There are a few new original tunes. “Last Time” humorously details the trials and tribulations of raising a puppy as a young man and the wisdom that comes with aging. “What Were You Thinking” evokes the struggle of a jobless alcoholic man with a wife and kids. It has a somewhat light and humorous tone that harkens to Great Depression black humor.
He also re-visits a couple of his older, classic tunes which are served well by the current band. “Henderson” conjures up the comfort and peace of small-town middle-America while "Fireglow" references the subtle edges of fear present in the crackling of a campfire deep in the woods.
He rounds out the collection with covers by James Taylor, Molly O'Day Pete St. John and local tunesmith, Andy Ewen (Honor Among Thieves.) and some spiritual numbers.
Ritt Deitz - guitar, vocals
Wilder Deitz - piano, electric piano, back vocals, percussion
Dave Foss - hammered dulcimer, rub board, back vocals
Joe Meisel - bass
Biff Blumfumgagnge fiddle on "Up in Ohio" and "The Fields of Athenry."
Throughout, Ritt's rich, Johnny Cash-like voice, is the thread that holds everything together as the band transports the listener to an older, seemingly more honest era.
"Hey Ritt Deitz, your pal Jonathan was absolutely right when he said Up In Ohio is "the most Northern Kentucky song he'd ever heard." - JimmyDLepping
[ Ritt Deitz ] [ Wilder Deitz ] [ Dave Foss ] [ Joe Meisel ] [ Biff Blumfumgagnge ]