Fritz Hutchison first popped up in Kansas City’s indie music scene as the sprightly drummer of a youthful folk-pop band called She’s A Keeper. Nearly a decade later, he’s ascended to become one of the city’s most called-upon musicians — capable of holding down an in-the-pocket rhythm section, composing punchy guitar riffs, strumming a mean banjo and nearly anything else you can imagine.
As a versatile side man, he’s lent his multi-instrumental talents to country and roots-rock bands (The Grisly Hand, Lorna Kay’s One Night Stand), jazz (The Grand Marquis, The Sextet), indie-pop acts and singer songwriters (Miki P & the Swallowtails, Claire Adams, Calvin Arsenia), along with a couple of the city’s more more off-center artists (Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Metatone).
But with his debut solo album making its way out into the universe, Hutchison is breaking out of the mold.
“Stepping out front has been a little nerve-racking, but in a way that feels like growing,” he said. “Having the opportunity to plunge into so many different styles and projects has really informed the energy I want to put out for an audience as well as what sort of band dynamics I'd like to exist for the people I'm lucky enough have playing my songs with me. It's a vulnerable thing to entrust your songs into the hands of your friends and put that out together into a room of strangers, and the payoff is so worth the risk.”
“Stationary,” the lead single from “Wide Wild Acres,” premieres today — tune in during the 8 a.m. hour to hear the track — with a music video directed by Hutchison and Mikala Petillo (fellow multi-faceted musician Miki P).
“It’s a sort of nod to how close one can get to really jamming with themselves via multi-track recording, but how ultimately impossible such a performance would be without some serious space-time interference,” he said of the video, which showcases Hutchison completely in his element — playing piano, bass, drums, guitar and vocals simultaneously, accompanying himself with his projections on the walls.
The song’s tight, affable hook shows a self-assured pop songwriter with an ear for playful melodies and tight rhythms. But it also signals new territory for Hutchison, changing the way he interacts and connects with his listeners.
“Playing original music feels like standing in front of an audience and saying, ‘Ok, we all can agree that the Nazis must be defeated. I think I can help but I'm terrified of snakes and also I'm not very good at singing. Do you trust me?’”
Here’s The Bridge’s premiere of “Stationary” by Fritz Hutchison:
This Saturday, Feb. 22, you can catch Fritz Hutchison and his band at miniBar with Hadiza and Like A Tiger. Tickets are available. The album release show for “Wide Wild Acres” will be at The Brick on Saturday, March 28.