“40 years in radio. 50 years as a working musician. I started my entertainment career at age six in 1961. Earned my first dollar as a musician in 1970. This is my official debut, at age 64. Crazy huh?”
This is the line we got from Chris Kresge, also known as The Colorado Sound’s Chris K, when he sent us Sweet Inspiration, the latest release from his musical project GOATZ! this March. GOATZ!was formed by Chris and his late wife Pattie in 2002, the couple putting out one single in December 2009 titled “Once Upon A Snowflake.” Pattie passed away in 2016 from metastatic melanoma, but Chris and the rest of his friends / bandmates pressed on with making music. Sweet Inspiration is subsequently dedicated to Mrs. Kresge.
Kresge’s debut is classic old school country-Americana in the vein of Willie Nelson, with strokes of folk buried within. Not surprising, given Chris K’s time in radio and the music industry, this is a very well-done album with supreme talent behind it. Mike Ray, GOATZ!’s drummer, is a long timer from Denver’s music scene; helping out Chris K on vocals and guitar is Chris Jackowski (who’s played with Kresge since the 1990s as well as with Scott Allen, Blender Cats and Fat Sow) and Richard Hartrick lends his vocal abilities, plus his top fiddle and mandolin skills to GOATZ! too. Chris Kennison’s pedal steel and dobro twirl with Kalin Capra’s stand-up bass throughout, and Angie Stevens and Eric Moon’s additional vocals to the title track, “She’s Gone,” and “I’m Sorry” round out the feeling of old timey acoustic fun with dear friends.
Sweet Inspiration is both a gentle album filled with intimate sorrow (“She’s Gone,” “I’m Sorry”) and an exhibition of swingin’ pride (“Country in my Soul”). “I’m Sorry” is a particularly heart-wrenching listen; you can feel Chris’ heartbreak as he mournfully sings though this straight-up tear-jerker. We cannot do anything but fully recommend it, even if you’re not a country/Americana fan. This 50-years-in-the-making debut is solid and “I’m Sorry” puts it over the top.