The Beat Magazine
CD Review: FORTCH
Aug 31st, 2011 | By admin | Category: CD Reviews
Don’t Quit on Me
By John Fonvielle
Fortch, better known as Fortch, local gig grinder and songwriter, has thrown all of his cards on the table and released a 14 track CD, Don’t Quit On Me. This top-notch production, recorded by JK Loftin at his Cape Fear Studio right here in the Port City of pleasure and progress, leaves nothing to chance as Fortch puts down his best effort to date.
It’s hard not to make Springsteen comparisons as Fortch comes from a true heartland steel mill environment. He writes gritty, blue-collar, heavy downbeat rock songs but he writes in other styles as well. He never minces words (“I don’t do sentimental” from “Over My Head”), or hides his meaning in his lyrics – every song is straightforward and to the point. Not that you can see a rhyme coming from a mile away, he’s isn’t afraid to stretch for an alliteration which keeps things interesting as he sings “Here I am just walking home/ conversing with a bunch of ghosts”. It works. He does the same with chord structures, adding the odd change which allows him to expand his melody lines.
His hired guns deliver as well, from Rick Murray laying down the beat on his well-struck drums that are married closely to Frank Mills on bass, to local keyboard legends Terry Nash and Rick Lawson who pitch in with appropriate fills on piano and underlying wash on organ. George Alleman rips throughout on lead while Mr. F himself laid steady rhythm guitar.
Fortch covers the pop map, Alaska to Florida. He gets pensive and shows his tender side on “Listen To The Whispers”, then offers a classic Arthur Alexander style oldie “Anna Baby” (Alexander wrote “Anna” that the Beatles recorded). He gets into John Prine territory on “Mary and Jerry” showcasing his storytelling strength, and English folk music on “Lost Boy (JT’s Song)” featuring some nice fiddle and mandolin work by Jimmy Edmond. Fortch puts his own spin on the Grass Roots’ “Temptation Eyes”, Alleman getting all Eddie Van Halen in his break. Fortch hits the open road with “Don’t Quit on Me” where he seems to throw in all of his best ingredients.
Fortch has a strong, steady and clean rocker’s voice. What are really impressive are the backing vocals, which he did himself. They fill out the songs and he nails every one.
There’s something for everybody on Don’t Quit On Me, from topical, to heartbreak of just about every kind, minor chord grinders and 1-4-5 rockers. You can tell he puts his heart and soul into his songs and leaves nothing on the stage.
This is meat and potato music, heartfelt, earnest, and as honest as a good day’s work, songs you can get your hands on. So, when you come to that Fortch in the road, take it.
The Entertainment Bank
Don't Quit On Me (Fortch)
Charles A. Smith
"Don't Quit On Me" by Fortch is a very well written and and performed anthology of his music, which includes one song that took twenty years to complete. What he gives us here is a fresh, clear, country approach in his music, which is strong, as are the lyrics. This is a solid album and a refreshing project, which I'm sure many will find to be both interesting and highly entertaining.
The song "Anna Baby" has great lyrics, and is well complemented by the strong sound of Fortch's voice. He has an excellent band accompanying him, though I must say the guitarist stands out. I couldn't help but notice the riveting lyrics in his songs, which capture the listener's attention again and again while Fortch sings his stories. "Over My Head", "Listen To The Whispers", and "Watch And See" are very well done. "Listen To The Whispers" is where Fortch shows his singing and songwriting ability to the fullest extent in this beautiful love song of a different kind that really delivers the listener to the location of the song, and the band doesn't miss a beat. There's some nice acoustic guitar on this one along with noticeably good drumming.
"Don't Quit On Me" is a 14 song collection with over a hour of music that is well written, performed, and produced. On the track "World On Fire", the band funks it up quite a bit, and rocks it very hard in a funky southern Rock style. Fortch is a versatile artist with many different styles, which he shows on this CD. The drummer and lead guitar really stand out, and Fortch's singing is passionate and moving. The title track, "Don't Quit On Me" is a political song that is full of inspirational, meaning, and heartfelt awareness of the plight of so many Americans these days. Fortch emphasizes unity, perseverance, and loving one another as an answer to finding our way back to the top. It's a thought provoking track, and adds a lot to the album, which is already stellar.