John Statz shines bright with release of latest full-length ‘Tulsa’

(Photo by Michael Reilly)

(Photo by Michael Reilly)

‘Tulsa’
John Statz (self-released)
4 stars out of 5

Even though John Statz has been cranking out albums for almost a decade, I knew nothing about the Wisconsin-born, Colorado-based singer/songwriter until latest album “Tulsa” came across my desk. It’s a delightful collection of Americana/folk tunes that has me eager to track down Statz’s earlier stuff.

John StatzRecorded in the midst of a Vermont ice storm, Statz enlisted an all-star backing band and producer Jeffrey Foucalt, a fixture on the Americana scene.

“Jeff kicked my ass. He pushed me to crank out well-written songs,” Statz explains. “He’s such a great songwriter himself and I felt like I had to step up my game. … ‘Tulsa’ feels like how I was always supposed to make a record. Hunkered own for three days, living and eating with the band, tracking live, all during the Polar Vortex.”

That tough approach brought out the best in Statz, who impresses at every turn on the 12-track release. Among the many keepers here are the title track, “Home at Last,” “Exposure,” “Amsterdam in Autumn,” “Motion Picture Soundtrack,” “Queen of the Plains” and “Tennessee.” I realize I’m a little late to the party when it comes to the music of John Statz. But I figure better late than never. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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