Hailing from Verona, NY, Fritz’s Polka Band has released their 20th recording, The Hands of Time, on October 1, 2021. Recorded at SubCat Studios in Syracuse, the new album features 11 original tunes features appearances by Utica blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and drummer Deen Castronovo, and a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.”
Fritz’s Polka Band (FPB) was formed in 1978 by lead accordionist, the late Fred Scherz Sr. and his eight-year old son, Fritz, for whom the band was named. Despite Fred’s death in November 2009, Fritz’s Polka Band has vowed to carry on his legacy, playing everything from modern-style polka to country, rock and even blues.
Performing an eclectic mix of musical styles, Fritz’s Polka Band is not an oom-pa-pa band or a stereotypical “polka” band, but rather broke the stereotype regarding Polka music, performing at Woodstock ’99, and was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Songs on the album fit the mold of a Polka band, with titles “Chicken Wing Breakdown,” “Hey!,” “Come Home Safe” and “Oktoberfest Is Here Again.” Notably, the late Fred Scherz Sr. is featured, alongside Joey Miskulin, on “Tommy’s Lendler.” Fritz told the Utica Observer-Dispatch “One special guest I’m extra excited about is my son, Freddy, who’s just 7 years old. He played so nicely on a Swiss tune that his grandpa – my Dad – Fred wrote!”
I’m so thrilled this recording has finally been released. My band has been playing some of the tunes that appear on this album at gigs and they’ve really been going over quite well with the various audiences we’ve played for. I think the fact that the styles of songs on this album being so eclectic is a good thing, because there’s basically a tune for every mood someone might have.
If you’re in the mood for a festive, party-type song, then a song like “Oktoberfest Is Here Again” will fill that need. If you’re saddened by the loss of a loved one or close friend, then a tune like “The Hands Of Time” and/or a ballad like “I Know I Should” will resonate with you. The special guests on this album really made it extra special, too! Whether folks choose to buy the CD at a gig, via mail order and/or download, I hope they enjoy it as much as my band enjoyed recording it!”Fritz Scherz
FSB appears on the DVD of “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004) and had two songs – “Grandparent’s Polka” and “Here Is Fritz’s Polka Band” – included in two episodes of “Breaking Bad.” The group was nominated for a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMYs) for their 19th album, Hey, and in autumn 2019 were nominated for Band of the Year as well as New, Original Polka Song by the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. Additionally, Fritz Scherz was nominated for Musician of the Year and Button-Box: Artist or Duo awards.