Pocketful of Rain
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2004, Volume 11, #8
Written by John Metzger
Michael Fracasso began his career performing at open mic nights in the folk clubs of New York Cityís Greenwich Village before he moved to join the Austin, Texas scene. Along the way, he rubbed elbows with the likes of Suzanne Vega, Steve Forbert, Lyle Lovett, and Joe Ely, so itís not surprising that his songs are informed by similar slices of Americana, although the brand of soulful country pop that he delivers in his high tenor makes inevitable comparisons to The Jayhawksí Gary Louris. His latest outing Pocketful of Rain was recorded with a little help from his friends ó Patty Griffin, Eliza Gilkyson, and Beaver Nelson all make appearances, while long-time Bob Dylan associate Charlie Sexton assisted with the arrangements ó but their collective contributions never steal the show. Instead, they allow Fracasso to paint his smart, scenic tales with an array of emotional colors. Griffin, in particular, seems well-suited to complementing his vocal style, and together, the duo turns the folk-blues Devilís Deal and the gentle lament All or Nothing into something special. Indeed, Fracassoís palette is delightfully diverse, running the gamut from the jangly country-pop of the title track to the Dylan-esque rock of Mean Olí Place to the tender folk of Whiskey Mother, and as each tune effortlessly demonstrates, Fracasso has considerable skill. In other words, itís truly a shame that so few have heard him sing that he still is able to offer personalized, autographed albums for sale via his web site. After all, many more have gotten a lot further with far less.
Pocketful of Rain is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box