Ronnie Fauss’ “any lovin’ way but wrong” EP
Ronnie Fauss’ most recent EP any lovin’ way but wrong (2011) features covers of four songs from songwriters than hold a special place in his heart. It is hard to argue with Blaze Foley, John Prine, Todd Snider and Kris Kristofferson as touchstones and influences and Ronnie’s raspy voice compliments the songs written and recorded by singer-songwriters known more for their songwriting rather than their singing. But then NoDepression readers aren’t looking for the next fabricated pop American Idol. If you’re a NoDepression reader that worships at the Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco branch of the alt-country tree you’ll find plenty to enjoy on any of Ronnie’s four honest heartfelt EPs.
Sure that all sounds great but how can I persuade you to actually check out Ronnie’s music? How about as an early Christmas gift from Ronnie? Go here and you can download Mulligan (2010) for free! If you dig it, and I think you will, you can purchase any lovin’ way but wrong here. I chatted with Ronnie briefly about “any lovin’ way but wrong” and his upcoming full length cd.
HB-Ronnie could you share your thoughts on each song/songwriter from your new EP?
RF– “Clay Pigeons”
I learned about “Clay Pigeons” (and of Blaze Foley) from John Prine’s “Fair & Square” record. It sounded just like a Prine original to me, I was surprised to learn he didn’t write it. The song has so many lines that are pure gold. It’s complicated and it is simple all at once. The more I learn about Blaze the more I am fascinated by him – such a tragic, talented, beautiful figure. It turns out that I had been familiar with his work without knowing it. Lyle Lovett had covered his work and one of my favorite Lucinda Williams songs (“Drunken Angel”) is about him. He really deserves more recognition. As a fellow Texan I’m proud to try and do my part.
RF-“Just The Other Side Of Nowhere”
I just love this song. I know it’s been covered a ton by artists way more qualified than me, so I’m not carving any new ground here. But I had this idea for a stripped-down version with just guitar, banjo, and harmony on the chorus. I really wanted a back porch feel on this one. I can only hope I achieved that. I love Kris Kristofferson’s drive – the legendary stories about handing out tapes in Nashville, landing his helicopter on Johnny Cash’s property to get his attention. I’ve never gone quite that far, but I can relate.
RF-“Happy To Be Here”
Todd Snider is my original inspiration for getting into this whole crazy singer-songwriter business. I was in on him from the beginning. I picked up his first album at one of those big chain music stores back when big chain music stores existed. I saw him on his first full band tour through Texas, in downtown Ft. Worth in the mid 90’s. I was blown away by everything about him – his lyrics, his take on old time gospel and the energy of his full band. I’ve seen him many times since and it seems he never stops evolving. I’d love to open for him some time. He represents a lot of what I love about the current state of “our kind” or music. I’ve been playing “Happy to be Here” live for a few years now, my version is much slower than his original version. If you stop and notice, that song has a lot of weight to it; as most of his material does.
RF-“Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone”
If Todd got me started, John Prine kept me going. I picked up his Anthology on New Year’s Eve, 2000, and was blown away. I’ve since collected all of his studio albums. I don’t need to try and articulate his genius. Anyone reading this article here probably already knows. He is so great at juxtaposing the heavy with the light from song to song. He also does it within the same song and this is a perfect example. I always suspected that this is one of his more under-rated works. And that was confirmed when I was told that I am actually the first person to ever cover it on a recording! That’s just crazy to me. If you type in “Sabu visits the Twin Cities Alone” on itunes, 2 artists come up: John Prine and Ronnie Fauss. Perhaps the only thing we have in common. He’s in another stratosphere.
HB-I’ve enjoyed the photos you’ve used for your EP covers. Is there a story behind the “any lovin’ way but wrong” artwork?
RF-That’s a picture of my grandparents, my great-aunt and uncle, and a mystery couple – when they were young, maybe taken in the 40’s. I have loved that picture since I was a boy, something about the way they’re all dressed up to the 9’s (Mad Men!), enjoying life. I love my grandparents and miss them terribly, they were the best!
HB-From my count that is four EPs in a row and I’ve enjoyed them all but when are you going to open the floodgates and put out a full album?
RF-Very soon! I was fortunate enough to receive some backing that will allow me to make my first full length record, I’m hoping it will be completed and released by the middle of next year. I’m excited to take that step, to “put my big boy pants on” if you will. It will take everything up a notch – higher expectations, higher commitment level. I can’t wait to get it out into the Americana marketplace, and then hit the road and meet the great music listeners that make up this community. I think I’m ready…2012 should be a great year!