Playing Mr. Mom for the last few months has made folk singer William Fitzsimmons appreciate his career and his forthcoming touring schedule with Over the Rhine.
Hearing that he’s playing the acoustically perfect MIM Music Theater at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix makes him anticipate the trek even more.
“I’m living my domestic side of my life,” he says with a hearty laugh. “You could tell me I would be playing at a truck stop and I’d be super thrilled. I can stop changing diapers for a moment.
“Seriously, I’m really looking forward to it. I like going out to the west. I don’t get to spend enough time out there. But if (the MIM) has anything that’s as old or older than I am and it plays music, I’d be pretty excited about it.”
Born to two blind parents, Fitzsimmons is gigging to support his 2014 release, Lions, which debuted at No. 2 on the Top New Artist Albums chart, as well as Top 5 on the folk albums chart. Produced by Chris Walla, formerly of Death Cab for Cutie, Lions was followed by a stripped-down version of the collection called Acoustic Sessions.
Fitzsimmons spoke to College Times about his domestic life, his kids’ DIY “performances” and the influence his parents have on him.
College Times: So you’re living the domestic life?
Fitzsimmons: As the years go by more and more—it’s probably the same with everybody—I go out like I’m 16 again and have fun on the road. Then I come home and I get to be a daddy and a husband, and take out the garbage. It’s nice. You get good perspective when you’re not just doing one thing. You appreciate everything that’s in front of you.
That must give you a nice balance.
My kids don’t really give a crap that I play music, other than it’s fun to have glockenspiels and guitars around that they can mess with. It’s neat. I love getting up on stage. I love performing and I love getting to sit down and watch my kids do little shows for me. They’re not as good as mine—yet.
Your parents sound like they were inspiring to you as well.
They still are. They’re both musicians and, of course, the disability thing and being blind is very relevant to my appreciation for music and sound. That becomes your main sense. I was raised in that environment. I was taught that same level of respect—respect for music. It’s not a background thing. It’s one of the most important things that we have. I’ve met many people who don’t have blind parents who feel the exact same way. Music is a form of nourishment for them as well. I don’t have the market cornered on that, but I appreciate my folks teaching me that at a very young age.
Over the Rhine w/William Fitzsimmons, Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.478.6000, mim.org, Friday, February 20, 7:30 p.m., $38-$45