Canadian singer/songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald may have just figured it out. If you can’t go on tour, have the fans come to you. It gave him the opportunity to play sold out shows all this summer and has become the model of safely touring this fall, bringing music fans the live experience we’ve been deprived of for what seems like forever.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
First and foremost, you can’t tour without music and Fitzgerald is excited about his new full-length studio album Love Valley due out on October 9th. With the song “Our River” having already been released, Fitzgerald is unveiling another offering from Love Valley, “I Love That Sound,” with a beautiful live performance video. Soothing and warm, the live video version is delivered in much the same hushed manner as Lou Reed’s iconic “Walk on The Wild Side” connecting the listener with the universe around them in a thousand different ways.
“I Love That Sound” details the sound of a dress sliding off a loved one’s body and landing on the ground – skinny dipping at magic hour after dinner at the end of a long day,” details Fitzgerald. “In the second verse reminiscing and celebrating the milestone of buying the house and beginning to move in and start a life there. “I remember buying this place, moving in, closing the deal, Sharpie on the boxes, Uhaul steering wheel.”
“The instrumentation feels so good to me too. I love the drop before the drums enter, Lyle Molzan plays live with us and made this track feel so good. It took us two sessions to all feel like we’d found the beat. The bass is warm and round, the acoustic is simple. We added Brett Resnik (Kacey Musgraves) with these effected sounding, sweeping pedal steel moments throughout. Much like “Our River,” it was important to include the female lead vocal moment as well. I love what that adds to the song, doesn’t make it a duet but is a subtle reminder that this story and dream could be anyone’s story, from any perspective.”
While the album was recorded in Calgary, Memphis and Nashville, when choosing a video location for “I Love That Sound” Fitzgerald opted for a beautiful, serene setting in his hometown of Calgary. Graceful, simple and organically elegant, the video is everything the song strives to be.
“We chose to shoot the video like this to capture a true, live and honest take of the song,” he explains. “There are no cuts/edits in the video. I think the setting and this style of capture are true to the lyric and my performance in the studio recording. The setting and its sounds are true to the lyric and the overall theme of the record as well.
“I love the simple detail in the song, and I hope that people see the details in their own way – their own dream of home and love. For me the female vocal opens the story up. The song could be about the listener, or from the listener’s point of view.
Throughout this spring and summer as Covid reduced live music to computer screens and recently drive in movie theatres, Fitzgerald was doing something different. Not unlike a Las Vegas residency, he made it to where his fans came to him setting up the Greenbriar Tent in his backyard in Calgary and playing an intimate concert for a handful of folks Tuesday through Saturday nights. Guests get a concert and conversation, a pre-order of the Love Valley vinyl and have the option to enjoy dinner, wine, coffee and more from local favorite spots curated by Fitzgerald.
The idea was a sellout hit which then became the platform for an actual upcoming tour! While he’s still performing his Greenbriar shows through August (all dates are sold out), beginning September 1st Fitzgerald will embark on a Fall Farm tour throughout Canada featuring a slightly bigger tent while still keeping the experience safe and intimate. Dates, locations and ticket info can all be found here.