Radio Bristol is proud to offer a platform to local and regional artists, artists who are often underrepresented on a national level yet deserving of that audience. In expanding upon Radio Bristol’s core mission, we are pleased to bring you our Radio Bristol Spotlight series, which highlights the top emerging artists in our region. Through interviews and performance, we will learn more about the musicians who help to make Central Appalachia one of the richest and most unique musical landscapes in the world.
Earlier this year we hosted a local artist who is definitely on the rise: Logan Fritz, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Fritz has been working as a musician in the region since he was just 12 years old. Growing up as a kid to a single parent in nearby Abingdon, Virginia, he learned early on that local breweries would pay him to come and perform, and the young troubadour ran with it – the extra cash only added to his passion to learn and write more.
Logan Fritz pictured with McKenna Blevins during their visit to Radio Bristol.
Fritz has since worn many musical hats, including producing for regional artists Adam Bolt and Andrew Scotchie, playing guitar for now-major acts like Morgan Wade, and regularly hosting open mics at Wolf Hills Brewery. The 24-year-old has masterfully honed his craft while working full-time as a musician, and he recently released an impressive self-produced album titled Pickin’ Up the Pieces . Recorded with his longtime band Fritz & Co at Classic Recording Studio here in Historic Downtown Bristol, the album is laden with heavy roots rock and Appalachian soul vibes, rolling acoustic guitar, and splashing country-tinged backbeats, all of which accompany Logan’s languid vocal fry that sounds like Lou Reed and Tom Petty crossed hairs with a winsome cowboy. Fritz’s recent release glitters as a luminous affirmation to the young songwriter’s talent.
While in our studio Fritz shared songs from the new album, spoke about his collaboration with other regional artists, brought insight to his creative process, and spoke freely about experiences battling depression and addiction. He was also joined on air by his significant other, McKenna Blevins, an excellent harmony singer and songwriter in her own right. The pair started things off with an acoustic rendition of the title track from Picking Up the Pieces. The song’s lyrics deal with tribulations found while coming of age and the bare-bones honesty it takes to hold oneself accountable for self-actualization. The song itself has some of the most breathtakingly vulnerable lyrics I’ve heard in a long while, words that stare flat-faced at the human condition with equal parts compassion and truth. You can find the lyric video for “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” below – though fair warning: it may bring a tear to your eye like it did mine!
Fritz and Blevins were childhood friends and met in Wise County when Fritz was attending a camp for theatrical performance. Currently the couple hosts a weekly show at BoneFire Smokehouse in Abingdon, which showcases other regional performers and is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for great live music. Their chemistry as duet partners adds to the lyrical depth of their music with wonderfully polished vocal performances, the likes of which has been landing the duo major gigs recently, such as opening up for Jakob Dylan at the Paramount. I also want to encourage folks to listen and follow Fritz and Co. on Spotify here, it won’t be long before you see this act on the big stage so be like the cool kids and get on the Fritz fan boat early.
Apart from his newest album Fritz has also helped produce other artists such as Adam Bolt, one of the region’s favorite songwriters. This past year the two combined forces again at Classic Recording Studio to produce Gazetteer, a four-track EP that thematically explores the songwriter’s relationship to place and ability to feel connection to physiological space through the physicality of land. Complete with a blazing horn section and 1980s windswept country-fied twang, the production value on these songs feels expansive and extremely detail oriented. Electric guitars comb through well-crafted verses supported by a wall of vocal harmonies; listening to the songs you can’t help but recognize that putting this together was no small feat. It also feels like Fritz has just scratched the surface of his potential as a producer, something that he plans to expand on further with Ashville rocker Andrew Scotchie next year. To listen to Gazetteer and get a feel for Logan’s musical vision visit the link below.
While in the studio Fritz and Blevins also sang some new material, including the song “Sew It Seems,” which is part of a collection of singles Fritz plans to release sometime this year. He expressed his excitement to keep working and moving forward as a songwriter, and we can’t wait to hear what Fritz releases next. Part songwriter, part musical mastermind – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for live appearances and new music from Fritz and Blevins. To hear their performance “Sew It Seems” in our studio, check out the video below:
Ella Patrick is a Production Assistant at Radio Bristol. She also hosts Folk Yeah! on Radio Bristol and is a performing musician as Momma Molasses.