Artist: John Fizer
Hometown: Berkeley, California
Song: “Lady Lying Lovely”
Album: Treasure Man
Release Date: January 20, 2023
Label: Scissor Tail Records
In Their Words: “John Fizer is a stellar songwriter, singer and acoustic guitarist. Often compared to Dylan, I hear a little Willie, but John is very, very much himself. I love this track. It was recorded in 1977 at the legendary Mountain Ears Studio in Boulder and captures John’s true spirit, in his prime, a hopeless romantic smitten by life. It’s a crack band. Ray Bonneville on harmonica is simply the one you want. Erik Johnson killed it on Fender fretless bass, an instrument this world needs more of. Brad Hayes is on electric guitar, everything he touches turns to gold. Brian Brown’s powerful drums and Elin and Judy on background vocals complete the dream. John Fizer is the dreamer.
“He is brilliant (he does the Sunday NYT crossword in 20 minutes) and has a fascinating story. I learned he started out playing the same Lower East Side folk scene as Dylan in the ’60s and has a song out on the Smithsonian Folkways CD Original Folk. When John learned that I am an immersive audio pioneer, with credits including a 3D sound remix of Jimi Hendrix and 3D sound designer for the LA production of the musical The Who’s Tommy, he handed me an old third-generation audio cassette tape and asked if I could make it sound better. When I listened, I was blown away. Such amazing songs, singing and guitar playing.
“I had cleaned up John’s old cassettes, making them sound as good as possible. Over the course of a year, on four different occasions, I asked John if he had the original master tapes. Each time he said ‘No.’ But one day, out the clear blue, John showed up with a 15-inches-per-second, quarter-inch, half-track, real deal master of some of his songs he recorded with the smokin’ hot Ray Bonneville Blues Band backing him. Now I knew the world was going to hear his music the way John intended: big, fat, analog and on vinyl.” — James Johnson, album producer