Live in Leipzig – William Fitzsimmons coming on 31 July 2015
A singer and songwriter. Acoustic guitar, voice like dairy chocolate spread on velvet. Tickets at Geyser House Leipzig cost 28 Euro. So what’s the big deal, you may ask?
Well, here’s a bold guy with a beard who hit it big ‘cos he featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Admittedly not the most exciting detail in a CV, but a rather important one all the same. Had it not been for America’s either loved or loathed romantic medical TV series, the talent that’s William Fitzsimmons would probably have never emerged from the obscurity of self-produced living-room recordings. Let’s thank the gods of music that one of these home recordings helped set his records straight.
Somebody who learnt to play music on his father’s hand-made organ and who then spent most of his childhood honing his skills on the piano, guitar, banjo, melodica, ukulele and mandolin is bound to have music etched all over his heart. And since the man with a background in counseling tends to use his own music as a means of coming to terms with certain events that threaten to topple his world, the result of this process is a singer’s very tender and thoughtful approach to songwriting.
Having produced his first 2 records all by himself, the hype surrounding him after the Grey’s Anatomy success helped him get signed by a major label to produce his commercial debut album The Sparrow and the Crow in 2009. It was promptly awarded the iTunes US Best Singer/Songwriter Album. Thematically, the record stirs up the separation from his former wife, which makes it a keeper on LeipGlo’s “Top 3 classic break-up albums” (a post for the future).
The lyrics here are bound to drill into the bone marrow of anyone who’s going through a tough split or those reminiscing a love lost. Maybe the album is a bit of a slow burner at first, but one that you will return to again and again once you’ve given it two or three spins. And then there is its stand-out track featuring Priscilla Ahn, “I don’t feel it anymore (song of the sparrow),” and the surprisingly contradictory “You still hurt me,” with its cheerful tune and reflective lyrics which we instantly loved.
Next came an album called Derivatives, with remixes of his previously released material. It sets the tone for Fitzsimmons’s future releases with a whole range of instruments producing silky smooth pop.
Two records further down the road, the master of the quiet art of melodic guitar music is now about to set foot on our turf, with his latest 7-song mini LP entitled Pittsburgh in his bag.
Check out this great review of the album. It’s a return to his roots, a self-produced album that mainly captivates your senses with the rather sparse yet very effective application of an acoustic guitar, a very prominent voice and the occasional drum computer. Lyrically, it pays homage to both his hometown Pittsburgh and his recently deceased grandmother who had never lived away from the city for her entire life. Really good stuff, be sure to buy, borrow or steal a copy.
And if you can, listen to this brilliant Spotify acoustic session to get a fair impression of what to expect when the master hits the stage at the beautiful outdoor venue at Parkbühne GeyserHaus on Friday, the 31st of July, at 8 p.m. You shouldn’t let this one slip.