This is part of Creative Loafing Tampa's new issue, The Year In Music. See and listen to the rest of our top albums here.
Jonny Fritz, Sweet Creep (ATO) Alt-country doesn’t have to be all heartbreaking and serious. In October, Jonathan Russell Fritz (aka Jonny Fritz, Jonny Corndawg) released Sweet Creep, the follow-up to his 2013 ATO release Dad Country, and for the uninitiated, Fritz may seem like Americana’s designated court jester — but don’t write him off a mere jokester. Creep was produced by Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and finds Dawes’s Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith backing him. Songs like “Stadium Inn,” “Chihuahua Rescue,” and “Fifteen Passenger Van” do stay in the funny lane, and LP highlight “Chilidog Morning” suggests that grandma should get to chopping the onions, but all of it is buoyed in a musicality that is only eclipsed by the way Fritz is able to poignantly capture the dregs of human condition in a way that doesn’t wanna make you jump off a cliff. —Ray Roa