Fauss continues with his trademark raspy voice and he’ll get you coming and going – with his music AND his lyrics. He’s versatile – pretty clean cut (for Americana, anyway) but he can hang tough with the Laramie crowd. He can write love songs and he can write break up songs. They all speak to you. “With Love” will make you cry – about a boy/man losing his father at a young age, wanting to show his Dad how he made it through that loss and came out on the other side.
“I Can’t Remember (What You Can’t Forget)” is a real tear-jerker, funny and sad, the guy begging for the woman to take him back. As if. With the plaintive steel guitar (played by Adam Ollendorff), the sound is very Gram Parsons. And then it’s followed by the only cover on the disc, Gram Parson’s “Sin City”. Very nice.
“A Pretty Nice Night for Houston” is more of a rocker. “I Don’t See You” is close to perfect – a bitter break-up song that you can dance to. “Good Enough” is going on my next car CD.
“This Year” is the perfect picture of a family gathering, reminiscent of James McMurtry’s “Holiday” or Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas to the Family.” What people talk about when they get together, how anxious we all are about where we’ve been and where we’re going. But funny, you know? “I’ve never had anything quite like the year that I know I will have this year.”
The lyrics are clever and thoughtful – the kind of songs you can listen to over and over and hear something new, even after the 20th time. The songs are poetic, ambiguous. They put images in your head and the stories you see are part Fauss’s and maybe a little bit yours.
Love the fiddle – Jason Mowery plays that. Sigurdur Birks co-produced the disc with Fauss and helps out on drums. Fauss got himself two bass players (Adam Beard and Dave Labruyere) and two electric guitar players (Devin Malone and Taylor Tatsch), with Malone also helping out on the mandolin. Chris Tuttle and Jimmy Wallace are in there with the keyboards: piano, B3 organ, Wurlitzer, and accordion.
Lilly Hiatt, another NormalTown artist, and Sadler Vaden, of Drivin’ N Cryin’, help out on the vocals with Sam Palladio (star of ABC’s new series Nashville) and Chris Tuttle filling in on a couple songs as well.
Fauss is getting some airplay (heard Elizabeth Cook play him on Outlaw Radio (Sirius/XM) just the other day) and some pretty good press. And he’s touring a little bit – coming up here to the Denver area (Arvada’s D Note) and even venturing bravely back into Laramie to play the Cowboy Bar (can you believe they have TWO Cowboy Bars up there – one’s on 2nd Street and one’s on 3rd Street . . .).
I Am The Man You Know I’m Not is available from Fauss’s website, Amazon, and iTunes. And if you like this stuff, don’t forget to go back and re-visit his EPs, Mulligan and New Songs for the Old Frontier. I’m still not tired of them either.