A professor of French by day, Kentucky native Ritt Deitz spends his off hours perfecting evocative singer-songwriter material that runs from spare, poetic tone poems to tough-minded roots fare. "Cloudy" falls into the latter category.
On much of his new album Upstream, Deitz employs a thoughtful, eminently civilized persona to put across his carefully constructed semi-acoustic material. But he also has an angrier, more elemental side of his character, and here he explores with tense lyrics about failure, frustration' and hard times comin' with a burr in his throat and a coal-fire burning a hole in his belly. Some tense blue notes from Madison guitarist Andy Ewen only add to the impression that a change is gonna come just as soon as the tune is over -- and it ain't gonna be pretty when it does.
Although Deitz sounds nothing like David Olney, I keep thinking this performance would fit right in on one of Olney's impossibly lowdown albums. It has that much grit.
An MP3 of the track are available in the related downloads at right. More music by the singer-songwriter is available at his MySpace page. Ritt Dietz is currently on the road, performing this week in Chicago as well as Louisville and Newport, Kentucky. His next live shows in the region are at the Village Booksmith in Baraboo on Friday, November 23 and at Restaurant Magnus on Friday, December 14.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.