The Performing Arts Studio presents singer-songwriter Michael Fracasso in concert on Sunday, November 5, in the Santa Fe Train Depot, 200 South Jones, Norman. Music starts at 7:00 pm in the third of the PAS twelve concert Winter Wind series. Admission is $10.
Michael Fracasso garners unstinting praise in reviews from across the nation. ”Fracasso always seems to hold an audience’s attention ...(he) needs only a guitar and his smooth tenor to transfix a room.” says Deborah Benjamin in the Oklahoma Gazette. “Michael Fracasso is indubitably one of the greatest singer/songwriters from the United States yet to break out of his regional fan base” says Paul E Comeau in the folk journal Dirty Linen.
The Houston Post states that “tagging him as a singer-songwriter seems limiting.” The richness of his music integrates a wide range from folk to R&B to rock. His songs combine eloquence, elegance and palpable emotionality with melodies that have a seductive pop appeal. The Oklahoma Gazette noted that Fracasso puts “all the great strains of American music into a cohesive package.” A “one man catalogue of American music” says the Chicago Tribune and “one of America’s songwriting geniuses...” says the San Louis Obispo Metro Times.
Fracasso’s voice has been described as reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, yet “there’s simply no other voice in pop music like Michael Fracasso’s. His pure clarion tone gently but insistently demands your full attention.” (Paste Magazine) His is “an extraordinary voice, a bright, high tenor that can drive a song or float through it.” (The Austin Chronicle)
“A marvelous instrument.” says Rolling Stone of Fracasso’s voice.
Fracasso grew up in a small town in Ohio, the son of Italian immigrants. A friend of his older sister left a copy of Dylan’s Blond on Blond at the house, which inspired Michael to take up playing guitar and singing -- but only in his bedroom for the sheer enjoyment of it.
After graduating in environmental science at Ohio State University, he took a stab at postgraduate work in Washington State. The notion of taking the songs he had written public became ever more tempting. After reading an article in the New York Times about the burgeoning new folk scene in Greenwich Village, he moved to New York City to try his hand at his musical art. There he fell in with a community of fellow talents and played the legendary Folk City and East Village venues where the anti-folk scene was emerging.
After honing his craft in the Big Apple through the 80’s, his musical career remained static, so he packed all of his belongings into a Volkswagen Rabbit and moved to Austin. Starting out at open mike nights at Austin’s Chicago House and Austin Outhouse, he quickly won “Best New Artist” award in the Music City Texas poll of music professionals. He recorded Love and Trust, his first album.
In 1995, the album When I Lived in the Wild garnered rave reviews in the Houston Post, Performing Songwriter and the Chicago Tribune (calling Fracasso “an undiscovered gem.”) World in a Drop of Water in 1998 continued the string of praise with favorable reviews in Playboy and in Crawdaddy! (“devastating stuff... a masterpiece.”) A live album, Back to Oklahoma recorded at Oklahoma City’s Blue Door in 2001, was hailed by All Music Guide as “a contender for the best singer-songwriter album of 2001” and won the best of 2001 honors in the Daily Oklahoman. Back to Oklahoma was rereleased as part of Retrospective, which was released simultaneously with Pocket Full of Rain in 2004.
Fracasso will draw from the richness of his past work, and have new work to share at the Winter Wind Concert. Seating is limited. Advance ticket purchase is suggested.
Contact The Performing Arts Studio at 405-307-9320 or stop by the Depot, 200 S. Jones. Hours are 8 AM to 3 PM Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 5 on Sunday.