Dallas singer-songwriter Ronnie Fauss, who was nice enough to grace us with a list of some of his favorite albums last November, recently released a six-song EP titled Mulligan that’s a nice evolution of the sound on last year’s New Songs for the Old Frontier.
Tracks like “To Ease My Mind” and “Just Another Tuesday” find Fauss adding a little heartland rock kick to his literate lyrics, a marriage that leaves him sounding somewhat like Oregon artist Kasey Anderson. Not a bad thing.
In more of a country/folk vein, my favorite track is “It’s a Long Long Way,” a humorous coming-of-age story that takes the singer from his preschool days, when he had “cookies to eat and hell to raise,” up through to the present day, with some amusing stops along the way:
When the ’90s came along I changed my channel
I turned my Guess jeans in for shirts of flannel
But I was still one hell of a sexy mammal
Just waiting to be found
It bears favorable comparison to Todd Snider’s “My Generation, Part 2” – a case, I suspect, of multiple shared influences (John Prine, Robert Earl Keen, growing up during the ’80s) rather than direct inspiration.
Much as Snider does on his albums (recall that “Beer Run” and “Waco Moon” both debuted on New Connection), Fauss balances the levity with some darker material, like the sad character sketch “Tia Maria” and the lovely piano-and-steel track “Driving Through Memphis,” a broken, reflective ballad from the driver’s seat that closes the EP. All around, a solid offering. I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about this guy.