When: 7.30pm on Friday 13 November 2009
Where: Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street, Manchester M1 1JW
After his successful Manchester debut at the Night & Day Cafe in August, we’re pleased to welcome back William Fitzsimmons. This time his album The Sparrow and the Crow will be out, so he’ll be playing with his full band at our favourite art cafe, Nexus.
Born the youngest child of two blind parents, William Fitzsimmons was raised in the outskirts of the steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Williamâ€™s childhood home was filled with myriad sounds to replace what eyes could not see. The house was suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-alongs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house. When his fatherâ€™s orchestral records were not resonating through the walls, his mother would educate him on the folk stylings of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel.
William draws from those early influences of his mother’s music, and the embellished instrumentation of his father’s. He is often compared to contemporaries Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine and the late Elliott Smith, not only for his unique style and skill in writing and proclivity to deal with substantive and evocative subject matter, but also for his use of organic and colourful melodies and arrangements. His first two records were completely self-produced and his new album, The Sparrow And The Crow, is his first studio recorded work. While his lyricism deals often with darker undertones (his most recent album is said to have been written following his own divorce), a measure of hopefulness is always carefully blended in.
It’s a shame Bon Iver got in there first, at least in the UK, otherwise Fitzsimmons would be this year’s fashionable heartbreak kid
Goodnight is one hell of an album
One of the first five-star albums of the year
A work of stark beauty
Main support comes from Bristol’s Jon Sinnott, who infuses 60s and 70s pop with elements of alternative country, folk and southern rock to produce his own slant on Americana. His evocative vocals have already drawn comparisons with the likes of James Taylor, Van Morrison and Adam Duritz.
Tour support is provided by Laura Jansen, a Californian who is being compared to the Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor – although a dash of reggae and a touch of gospel set her apart from the rest.
This will be at Nexus Art Cafe, a regular haunt of ours opposite Vinyl Exchange. The staff are great, they have great music taste, and make excellent tea and cakes.
Tickets available from the cafe, Piccadilly Records, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0161 832 1111.