Rock ‘n’ roll was brought to Emory & Henry last Saturday night when local band Fritz & Co. performed at Macado’s. Not only is the band made up of entirely local residents, but E&H sophomore Dalton Richardson performs as the band’s rhythm and lead guitarist. I got the chance to sit down with Dalton and get his thoughts on music, the band and the night in general.
W.T: How are you doing, man?
Dalton: I’m doing okay. I’m tired.
W.T: How did you get plugged in with Fritz & Co.?
Dalton: Tyler Seagraves, the drummer and my best friend in high school brought me in. I had always known Logan growing up, but going to two different schools within the county made it hard to get together. Now that we’re all older it’s much easier to be apart of something like this.
W.T: How long have you been playing the guitar and what made you start?
Dalton: I’ve been playing since I was four. My brother got a guitar for Christmas, and I was jealous. I think my parents knew, and the very next Christmas they got me my first guitar. It was a little First Act, no bigger than a uke. My kindergarten teacher taught me from there.
W.T: What draws you most to music and performing?
Dalton: It’s the most amazing feeling. It gives you a euphoria that you couldn’t imagine. There is something unique about becoming a sound that melds with other sounds and gives enjoyment to other people.
W.T: Do any musicians or bands stick out to you that have influenced your playing style and taste?
Dalton: Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. I started taking guitar seriously in my teens. Led Zeppelin became one of my favorite bands. I remember the first time hearing Jimmy play the solo from Stairway to Heaven. I fell in love with it all over again. The music, and the instrument. Jimi Hendrix, he gave me hope. He is definitely one of the best guitarist of all time and he has no education in Music Theory. I don’t either. Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones. His style and tone is so iconic, and is instantly as recognizable as the other two. The way he played taught me a lot about my instrument. The way he uses his amp, pedals, and that he truly knew lead guitar. Lead isn’t about ripping monster solos at breakneck speeds, it’s about filling the sound where it needed to be filled and Keith Richards understood that.
W.T: What is your favorite song to perform live and why?
Dalton: “The Test.” It’s really high energy and the crowd usually responds well to it. And it’s just really fun to play.
W.T: What’s next for you and the band?
Dalton: We’re going into the studio in March to work on an album with our label Middle Fork Records.
Fritz & Co. took the Macado’s stage by storm and proved that rock is alive and well here in Appalachia. And even better, one of Emory’s own is at the forefront.
– James Austin