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Show Review

The songs William Fitzsimmons brought by our place during our session weren't the only personal tidbits the Pittsburgh-raised musician gave us. We also had a nice heart-to-heart about his background, his recent album Lions, and the responsibilities he has to his listeners.


There's fortune in the furlough On the other side Wrap ourselves in blankets The crossing of a bridge so wide, so ... Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it's still a very special place to me, and it formed me in a lot of ways.
Pittsburgh is a strong and confident city, even though it's small and, I don't know it's hard to explain, geography makes a difference.
It really does, it matters where you come from, and there was no-, there is not much of a music scene in Pittsburgh, there is, there is an art scene, but it's, you know, it's totally different than in anywhere else, you know, and most of that music that I grew up listening to, as far as the community culture was, you know, Polka and... - Yeah.
- and country music and stuff.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, I don't know, something about it, something about the, just the people that are there.
There is-, there is a hardness but there is a warmth, - Yeah.
- about it, too.
Yeah, I don't live there anymore, but it's still kind of a home.
Yeah, and I'm-, I'd say I'm-, I am very, I look forward to telling people I'm-, - Yeah.
- I'm originally from there, that means something to me.
And after the rains came - Yeah, the new record's called Lions, I mean they're all-, all my records are very thematic, they're very like mono thematic, you know, I usually don't, I don't bounce around a lot, it's really like one idea, that I'm kind of expounding on different branches of the same tree.
And, this one was based largely out of some really, salient experiences I had with, the birth mother of my first child, and the process of leading up to that point of-, of going through adoption, adopting-, adopting a little girl.
Just encountering the people around me, in ways I'd never experienced life with people before, you know, great, great means of sacrifice, and of, just really powerfu-, powerful emotions, I mean I kinda thought the time that I spent specifically in the months leading up to when my first daughter was born and, getting to know this woman, that was something I had never experienced.
And, this combination of emotions, this real ambivalence between like, you know, th- it's the happiness added together, - it's that idea.
And, it kinda blew me away.
Anyway, that's what the record is about, the record is about that kind of-, that dichotomy and that really strange juxtaposition between, you know, feeling really grateful and, and blessed.
I can hear the sound of rain Falling through the floor As she lets you go There's a quality of pain - I think you, you realize it whenever you're confronted with someone's authentic response to something that you've said, you know, and whether it's negative or positive, you know.
And, I think at the beginning, it all seemed very surreal to me, and I sort of just, it's not that I was ignoring it, but I didn't know-, I didn't know what it meant.
I was, you know, I ha-, I didn't have this great ambition of being a song writer and-, and traveling the world or something like that.
So, I just thought it was nice but like any other, you know, if somebody says, oh you look nice today, you know.
It felt like that, it was like a compliment, that-, that didn't maybe have a lot of substance.
And, I think the first time it really sunk in was, there was a show we played many years ago, and in Scotland actually, and there was a couple that came up to me after the show.
They we-, they were very nice and -, and I think maybe we- you know, took a picture with me or something, and right before they said goodbye and, and, you know, moved on to next autograph or whatever, they said we just wanna tell you that, we lost -, we lost our son recently, and the song, and they named the song, you know, has really helping us get through that.
And, you know I was just-, that-, that's the first time when it really just totally knocked me down, and -, and I really-, I really got it, that these aren't like just compliments, they're not just, - you know, this is someone saying that we have invited you and something you've made into our lives, and, it means something, and they needed to communicate that to me.
And I finally really got, you know, what that meant.
- Hey guys, this is William Fitzsimmons, and you're watching Baeble.

Artist Bio

Lions is a musical reflection of the personal renovation that's taken place since 2011's Gold In The Shadow. Best summed up by Fitzsimmons himself.

"The last couple years have beenfull (kind of difficult to describe years in a single word). They have been wonderful, painful, long, incredibly brief, and more educational and rewarding than any I've ever lived before.

I finished touring on the previous record feeling very conflicted. The longer I'm given the wonderful opportunity to write and create things, and subsequently share them with others, the more seriously and preciously I take that endeavor and responsibility. It is something I look upon with the utmost gratitude and respect.

And yet at the same time I find myself making art in a field that is itself quite the opposite of it. I am learning that one of the most difficult things about being human is not merely facing things that you don't generally find comfortable or appropriate or even good, but actually learning how to live in the midst of it and not let it take over who you are.

When you feel you are on a wrong-headed path, the quickest way to get where you want to go is to turn around, head back, and start again from the point you went askew.

And so I did.

I returned simply to the things, which have always brought me some measure of understanding, peace, and movement. I began to write and play music without "motive" or "goal" or end result in mind. The way that I wrote when I first began.

There was no cartoon light bulb over my head or kitchen timer dinging to let me know I had gotten somewhere. With the stuff that matters there rarely is I suppose. But after months and months and months (and more bottles of beer and bowls of tobacco than I'd care to disclose), I felt like a necessary distance had been traversed.

Wanting to continue in this very spirit, I chose to take yet another leap. I made a list of the producers who were making the music and records that most meant something to me. With no expectation I got in touch with the person at the top of the list. And, in a few months, I was on a plane to Seattle to begin working with Chris Walla to turn these songs in a notebook into the collection I wanted them to become.

Lions is something I'm terribly proud of and utterly connected to. It's a very personal piece to me (aren't they all) and something that I want you to connect with deeply. And I think you will. I honestly don't want to say too much about the music, because the truth is if music is of any worth, it should be able to speak for itself."



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William Fitzsimmons

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