William FitzsimmonsWilliam Fitzsimmons will be performing at the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center, Second and Main Streets in Pepin, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
William Fitzsimmons will be performing at the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center, Second and Main Streets in Pepin, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
With his third album, The Sparrow and the Crow, William Fitzsimmons seems right on the verge of indie stardom. Widespread critical acclaim is coming from all corners: The Boston Herald hailed the album as a “near masterpiece” (November 2008); iTunes listeners voted it “2008 Best Folk Album of the Year”; and tracks are continuing to receive national airplay on hit television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “One Tree Hill.” Clearly, people are listening.
Fitzsimmons’ hushed vocals and introspective lyrics are a mainstay on The Sparrow and the Crow, a personal reflection of and journey through his divorce. In his own assessment, “it’s more of a confessional, or maybe even a journal set to notes, than it is an ‘album’ in the traditional sense.” His lo-fi sound and arrangements, which bring to mind Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, and Joshua Radin, are sparse and beautiful
Although his third full-length record, The Sparrow and the Crow is Fitzsimmons’ first studio-recorded album. To help tell its story, he recruited the help of a LA-based female vocalist to add depth and a different point of view.
“There are a lot of breakup records that are amazing, but for the most part they’re very male-centric,” he says. “There are two sides to every story, so I wanted to represent it as such. Otherwise it’s a lie.”
Fitzsimmons’ background makes his music even more compelling. He was born in Pittsburgh to two blind parents, and their house was “suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-a-longs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house with his own hands.” Fitzsimmons gave up his “hobby” of music for a while to become a licensed therapist, but eventually returned to it, realizing that was where he most belonged and how he could best reach people.
Critics all seem to agree: the best venue to hear Fitzsimmons play is a cozy one. The newly-renovated intimate performance space of the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center in Pepin, Wisconsin seems tailor-made for his meaningful lyrics and subdued layerings of acoustic guitar, banjo, keyboards and quiet vocals.
LPADC Film and Music Programmer, Rick Vaicius, worked hard to get Fitzsimmons on the Center’s calendar.
Says Vaicius, “There is really something very special about William’s music. Stand-alone, he is an amazing singer-songwriter. I’m not sure how something so spare and simple can also be so nuanced. I hear something new literally every time I listen. I’m certain that intimate shows like this one will soon be harder and harder to find.”
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/ williamfitzsimmons and www.williamfitzsimmons.com for more information, including mp3s, and full artist biography. Downloadable hi-resolution photos are available at http://www.williamfitzsimmons.com/media.php.
Tickets are $10 LPADC members and $12 non-members.
Tickets can be purchased at Abode Gallery in Stockholm, Third Street Deli in Pepin, and at the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center or by calling LPADC at 715-442-4442.