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William Fitzsimmons: Big Beard, Soft Voice

Tuesday, May 17, Neurolux

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William Fitzsimmons' CD Gold in the Shadow (March 2011, Nettwerk Records) made it into the CD player because of the photo on the cover: Fitzsimmons' skull shows through a shadow of hair and tucked into a turquoise coat is a beautiful, bountiful beard that, at first glance, looks almost like a scarf.

The CD stayed in the player because of Fitzsimmons' sweet near-whisper--accompanied by banjolin, piano and even steel drum--singing poetry of struggling with a recent divorce with lyrics like, "Shove me out to see the sea / the quiet of December to the deep I turn / from the wreck I bless this mess / for what I can remember, your ghost I burn."

And then came the discovery of Fitzsimmons' improbable cover of Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl." He turned the slightly salacious pop tune into a tender ode of something unrequited.

We'll turn the CD player off long enough to hear Fitzsimmons voice--and see that beard--when he comes to Boise.

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