"Grown up on blues and soul music, John Fries fills his album with a fresh and distinct brand of roots rock that shows he operates on an uncommonly high plateau of maturity and talent as a singer, a guitarist and a songwriter (most of the seven songs address relationships). Deserving of wider attention, this Connecticut-based trio leader sometimes waxes lyrical on his old '62 Hot Rod Stratocaster"
- Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat (July 2013) 3-1/2 star review
"It would be easy for the EP U.S 50 from New England singer songwriter John Fries to slip into the cracks of that wide genre if he wasn’t such a good guitarists and deeply introspective songwriter. Fries has poured all of his influences into this seven song album, mixing in blues, country, Latin, jazz, and pop sounds into a roots rock stew. Thus setting the tone for a collection of songs that on the surface are upbeat and full of lively performances but have a deeper melancholy far below and speak of an artist who has traveled that long road alluded to in the titled."
- Rick J. Bowen - No Depression (November 12, 2012)
Album of the Day 9/26/12: John Fries - U.S. 50
"Fries has the voice of an old soul. It's full of experience and stories to tell. His guitar work is exceptional, and his backing rhythm section (formerly The Heat) hit all the right notes while Fries leads them through varying degrees of soulful rock n' roll. Combining the blues with influences as far ranging as the Black Crowes, the Allman Brothers, John Mayall, and Ben Harper, Fries has created a unique take on roots rock that will appeal to a wide range of music fans. U.S. 50 is another exceptional musical accomplishment to come from the New London scene and one of the better albums from a CT artist this year."
- Chip McCabe, CT.com (September 26, 2012)
"In his husky, Bob Seger-like rasp and bluesy moan, Fries first admits as to how a certain significant other has really got a hold on him (again, “Another Love,” spiked with a furious blast of Fries’s own electric guitar howls), before turning on a dime in the funky, Allmans-like “Defeat” and announcing, “Say goodbye to you and me/seems clear we won’t make it to the end.”
- David McGee, Deep Roots (September 7, 2012)
"The opening cut, “Another Love,” starts innocently enough with a gentle and hypnotic country guitar riff, but soon transforms to a roaring electric slide track. “Defeat” reminds me of an Allman Brothers track, with the harmony guitar work and “Revival”-like peppy rhythms which belies its somber theme. “My Dearest” is a story of betrayal that moves back and forth between gentle to crunching guitar riffs."
- Graham Clark, Blues Bytes (September, 2012)
"John Fries is a singer and songwriter from New York, who has gained a lot of momentum in Boston and Connecticut, both on his own and accompanied by “The Heat,” which is a trio he is a part of. His latest album U.S. 50 has a very bluesy soft rock and roll feel to it, and it’s blended very successfully with his vocals for a smooth sounding album."
- Victoria Espinoza, Blues Rock Review (August 30, 2012)
"Forget about pigeonholing John Fries, I've tried. Just when you think you know who he reminds you of, he slips into another groove and you realize he is an original, through and through. I think what you pick up on is this, he has a voice you think you feel like you should know..."
- Ali Kaufman, Sound Waves Magazine (May 2012 issue) 4 star review
"U.S. 50 is no longer just a highway that spans the country from Ocean City Maryland to West Sacramento California. It’s now an EP from long time New London guitar guy John Fries. For those of us familiar with John’s work U.S. 50 is a nice mix of new songs and old favorites. For those unfamiliar with John, I suggest you buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride. While the highway gives a feast for the eyes U.S. 50 the album is a feast for the ears.."
- Adam Wujtewicz, WailingCity.com (May 12, 2012)
"One of the great things about Fries is a willingness to perform his songs solo or with a full-blown electric band."
-Rick Koster, The Day