Texan Todd Fritsch has been singing professionally since his early 20s; releasing two well-received albums in the last ten years (TODD FRITSCH, SAWDUST and UP HERE IN THE SADDLE), and charting several hit Country singles (“What’s Wrong With Me”, “Small Town Radio”, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, “I Got Mexico”, “First Date For The Last Time”, “Texas Talkin’ ” and a duet with Texas legend, Gary P. Nunn, “Every Honky Tonkin’ Hero (Has His Day)”. The 30-year old entertainer has appeared on radio and television, performed on stages throughout the U.S. and Europe alongside Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Marty Stuart, Kevin Fowler and Cross Canadian Ragweed, acted in a movie (PALO PINTO GOLD) starring Trent Willmon and Kinky Friedman, and graced the pages of Country Weekly, Best In Texas, Open Range, Texas Music and Country Music People magazines. Then, several years ago, a horrific roping accident and injury forced this rising star and real-world cowboy out of the saddle – and the spotlight.
“My horse slipped and fell. My rope, which was tied off, had slipped around my foot and when the horse got up and broke into a run, my leg just snapped,” says Fritsch. The accident couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Todd, who had just recorded the first track for a project with respected Nashville tune smith, publisher and producer, Butch Baker. “It would have been real easy to just be depressed,” reflects Todd. “Everything was going my way – and then it all just ground to a halt. But I focused on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do and that kept me going.”
Performing with his band during the long physical recovery would have been nearly impossible for this energetic entertainer, so he applied himself to his second love: the family cattle ranch in Willow Springs, Texas. For a horse-riding, cattle-roping hand, the transition to the “business” end of things was a bit of a shock – not only for Todd, but also for his Dad. “I think he was a little surprised that I took to the buying and selling end of things so quickly,” Fritsch laughs. “It’s always been his ‘job.’ Now I’m at the sale barns three to four days a week and loving it.”
With most cattle feeding operations in Texas selling out as a result of the state’s worst-ever drought, Todd’s family ranch was an exception: expanding – and thriving. The Fritsch men are now running 20% more head of cattle than in years past; the long dry spell is over, and the operation is running like a well-oiled machine. “It was really hard to put the music on hold, but my family and this ranch are the most important things in the world to me,” Todd admits. “We had to get aggressive to survive, and ultimately, I think that what I’ve learned working on this side of the cattle business will actually help me with my music.” Fritsch will soon have a chance to see if his theory proves true: a lifestyle-saving knee surgery in December 2011 has put Fritsch back in the saddle – and back on the stage.
Todd’s latest single, “Calls I Haven’t Made”, reflects his ever-growing vocal prowess and the song is resonating with his live audiences. “It’s the tune that really kicked off this project,” explains the rich-voiced baritone. “It’s never been cut before; it’s a song Butch and I both love, and it’s real. It’s about not living with regrets, but doing something about them,” he adds. “Folks get it.”
The moving mid-tempo is one of 12 songs on his latest CD, UP HERE IN THE SADDLE. Todd believes this disc is his best to-date. “Every song is top-drawer,” Fritsch says. “The best way I can explain it is to say that it’s the difference between me at 26 and me at 30; I’ve grown up a lot. The musicians are among Nashville’s best, the production is first rate and I think, as a whole, the album really shows who I am right now as a singer and as a person.”
So who is Todd Fritsch? He is a husband, a father, a son, and a brother. He’s a horse trainer and breeder who specializes in the famous Colonel Freckles and Gay Bar King lines of American Quarter Horses, and he is featured in Lisa Wysocky’s popular book, HORSE COUNTRY: A CELEBRATION OF COUNTRY MUSIC AND THE LOVE OF HORSES.
Fritsch is a hard worker with a dream; a unique combination of brains, brawn and talent – a songwriter, a guitar player and one heck of a country singer whose music is quickly returning to a radio station near you. Listen closely – this is a man with a story – and a voice – you don’t want to miss.