So, while I was in New York City last week, I got a chance to see singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons perform at one of the best places in New York to see a live show, (Le) Poisson Rouge in the West Village. To be honest, I had never heard of William Fitzsimmons but saw that he was playing last Monday night. I checked out his website, gave a listen to some of his songs and I was sold.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, who grew up with two blind parents, taught himself how to play the guitar while in junior high school. After completing a Master’s Degree in counseling at Geneva College and working as a mental health therapist, he released his first album “Until When We Are Ghosts” in 2005 and then “Goodnight” in 2006. Both albums were completely self-produced and recorded by Fitzsimmons at his former home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Fitzsimmons, whose songs have been featured in TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”, has released 8 additional albums since “Goodnight”, including a live album this past October (listen to the first single HERE). Great voice, great songs (many of them intensely personal) and great accompaniment on violin and backing vocals by Abby Gundersen made this one of the more intimate and memorable live shows I’ve ever attended. I even brought along an old friend who goes to little more than thrash/death metal concerts (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and even his breast was soothed by the gentle folk stylings of Mr. Fitzsimmons. Nuff said?
I brought along my Lumix GH4 and a few good lenses and snapped a few photographs. I edited them back at my office while listening to Fitzsimmons’ 2008 album “The Sparrow and the Crow” on Spotify. You can find his music on iTunes and amazon.com and if you happen to find this talented singer-songwriter performing live in your city, don’t miss him. You won’t be sorry, promise.
Oh, and check out the upcoming shows every week at (Le) Poisson Rouge (did you know it used to be the Village Gate? The legendary performance space that hosted everyone from Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix?). With their eclectic programming and impeccable sound system, you’re sure to find something as equally awesome as Mr. Fitzsimmons.
Opening for William Fitzsimmons was the lovely and talented Laura Burhenn, who’s also worked under the moniker The Mynabirds. Her voice (which reminded my of Chan Marshall of Cat Power) and her stripped-down opening set was equally enthralling. Keep an eye on her as well if she comes to your town…