Contact & Booking…

Bring Fitz to Your Place

After thirty-five years of performing in almost every style of venue. Hopefully, something of what I have to offer matches up with what you need. Use the contact form or call me, 978-793-1552 if you’d like to discuss a possibility or idea for a performance!

Contact Fitz

Welcome

        Sometimes life just happens. I never really set out to be a folksinger, storyteller, or poet. It is more that in the winds of my scattered youth I found myself traveling down different paths for different reasons, and at some point in my different journeys someone stopped me and said, hey, I’ll pay you to sing some songs, tell some stories, or recite some poetry.  Being somewhat of a master of poverty, I always needed a bit more than I had in my pocket; and being naive (vain?) enough to think I knew what I was doing, I always said yes, regardless of the amount of the transaction or the amount of time put in.

Pulling out a guitar and singing some songs is the same to me as putting on a pair of work gloves and pruning apple trees; reciting stories or poems is as easy as remembering an old friend, and getting together with Seth and Hatrack for a concert is more of a blessing than a night on the road. Somehow I have managed to cobble together a life where nothing that I do I can rightly call work; rather,  I go places and get paid to share what I love and know.  Sometimes the pay is great; sometimes it feels like sipping soda from a mighty small glass, but I don’t know any other way–and doubt I ever will. Honest pay for honest work, I guess. What I do know is that I put my heart and soul and energy into every show, every performance, and every workshop–and that simple approach has worked for the last thirty years, and, hopefully, it will work for another thirty years–which is about the time my last kid (out of seven) will be out of college:)

A lot of well-intentioned friends have told me that I need to “sell myself,” though I am pretty sure that “myself” is all I have ever sold; however, they are pretty close to the mark in that my business acumen is no threat to the music industry. I’ve always been hired by word of mouth; I’ve always had a pretty loyal circle of folks who have kept me in the business of folk singing, word slinging, and music making, and it is as fun and energizing now as it ever was.  I hope that something of what I do syncs up with something that you want or need. I’d love to market my songs and poetry more effectively, so if you have any good leads, contacts, or ideas, please let me know. I am more stubborn than proud

Thanks for coming by and remember I can always be found every Thursday night (as has been true for the last thirty or more years) at The Colonial Inn in Concord, MA. I am also there the first Saturday of every month with “The Salty Dawgs,” which is a heck of a lot of fun, and various in sundry clubs, festivals, schools, libraries and wherever else an old-fashioned folksinger can sneak through the door. I also keep a blog, which is more or less on ongoing conversation my 8th and 9th grade English classes, and, hopefully, you–and sometimes just with myself:)

As always, I would love to see you or hear from you!

     ~Fitz

Pubsinger

If anything is in my blood, it is sitting down in the corner of The Village Forge in Concord’s Colonial Inn–the same corner where I started singing thirty or so years ago.  At one point I thought it was just a stepping stone to a career as a folksinger on a larger stage; but it has evolved into a part of my life. I am as comfortable in front of a pub full of people as anywhere else on earth, and I have played in more townie bars than I can count. About the wisest thing I ever said was in an interview on the radio when I was asked what was my favorite song. I replied, “Anything I know that someone else wants to hear.” So if you hear of a good pub that is looking for a traditional pub singer who can play literally hundreds of songs–including entire nights of Irish music–give me a shout.

Children's Concerts

Having seven kids of my own, it has been interesting to see the different ways that music has filled each of their lives. Each of them seems to have a little niche they can call their own, but there is also a big stew of songs that they all share and sing together–songs they’ve learned from our years singing together at summer camps; songs they’ve learned because an old CD got stuck in the care stereo and they heard the same Tom Waits songs for several years running; songs they’ve learned because big sister Kaleigh made it her mission to teach her younger siblings cool songs; songs that are just part and parcel of being typical american kids–and hopefully, just maybe, because they tagged along with dad to numerous shows at elementary schools, day care centers, summer camps, scout jamborees, birthday parties, campfires, and backyard barbecues. Most of what I try to sing with kids is music that has stood the test of time and is proven to win over crowds of any age.

Senior Citizen's Homes & Centers

I probably shouldn’t use the term “old folks,” but some of my most memorable shows have been in nursing homes, senior citizens’ centers, and other places where the audience is mostly older folks. I love the classic traditional folk songs and ballads, and I probably know about as many of these gems as any other singer out there. I can hardly sing Red River Valley without a tear coming down my cheek remembering singing this song in my mom’s alzheimer unit at her nursing home. It was her favorite song that I sang–and it is comforting to know that it was the last song she ever heard, except, perhaps, some angel band.

Festivals & Benefit Concerts

As I write this I am anticipating the show I am playing tomorrow with The Salty Dawgs at The Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton MA. Between the three of us (and whomever else joins us) we can put on a family friendly show that really is awesome. Seth is as great a guitar player/singer/human-being on the planet, while Hatrack plays harmonica and sings the old jazz and blues songs with a soul as old and real as the ages. I know it sounds vain and self-aggrandizing, but the three of us together–friends, bandmates, and compatriots for over twenty-five years–can put on a show that really is amazing, fun, and energizing for any size crowd. And that is guaranteed. Call us.

Camps

My first show ever was playing a jug in the Camp Sewataro Jug Band. During rest time, me and a few other counselors with no sense of decency or decorum would would walk around and play and sing camp songs to any group of campers that would join us for a rendition of On Top of Spaghetti or some other senseless ditty. From there I learned a few chords on the banjo–and, through a lucky quirk of fate, a gazillion camp songs from two masters of campfire music: Barry Lyle and The Rogue. By hook or crook I’ve become heir to a massive repertoire of camp songs, a great CD of camp songs, a little side business advising camps, and a continuing relationship with two camps that define the tradition of summer camp music: Camp Sewataro and Windsor Mountain International Camp. If you love camp songs, let me know; I’ll bring them to you by download or in person. Either way we all win.

 

House Concerts

I am lucky to live in Maynard MA–a small and funky old mill town between Worcester and Boston. By some quirk of the fates (and the price of real estate) the town is chock full of artists and tinkerers, musicians and writers, and it is a rare gathering in town that does not morph into some sort of jam session, old-fashioned hootenanny, or thoughtful philosophising.  Hosting a house concert is a really cool (and affordable) way of having a memorable and fun party.  A house concert is more than just sticking a musician in a corner and asking him or her to entertain the guests at your party–but not bother them; it is inviting friends to your house to be entertained and enriched by a flesh and bones folksinging, word slinging, storyswapping, balladmongering poet.
Save the universe: hire a folksinger.

Some of Fitz’s Music…

Life Ain't Hard: It's Just a Waterfall

by John Fitzsimmons | Fires in the Belly

“New England’s Nobel Laureate of Pub Music”

Scott Alarik

Adventures in the Deep Folk Underground

The Cat Came Back

by John Fitzsimmons | Campfire

Winner!!! 
2003 Best Children’s Album of the Year

~Boston Parent's Magazine

Let Me Be Your Salty Dog

by Traditional | Dawghouse

RSS John Fitz Podcasts

  • Joshua Sawyer Podcast November 11, 2017
    Fitz
  • Musketquid Podcast November 11, 2017
    Fitz
  • Upcoming Shows & Events November 1, 2017
      Fitz & Friends at The Colonial Inn Concord, MA Thursday, November 2, 10:30-12:00   This Weekend….   The Salty Dawgs at The Colonial Inn Saturday, November 4, 10:30-12:00  
    Fitz
  • The Storm of Fallibility October 30, 2017
           One good cigar is better than two bad cigars, or so it seems right now. It is a beautiful and stormy night–pouring rain and howling wind, and I thought a good smoke would be a fitting end to a busy and over-booked week. As it goes, I bought a couple of cheap […]
    Fitz
  • Crows & Swallows Release October 21, 2017
    There is seldom a red-carpet celebration when a book of poetry is released, so I will keep this a quiet and humble affair. My newest book of poetry, “Crows & Swallows” is now on iBooks, so fresh you can almost smell the ink. My business model is unchanged: It is a free download:) I’ll reap […]
    Fitz

Upcoming Shows & Events

  • The Salty Dawgs November 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM Concord's Colonial Innn48 Monument Sq, Concord, MA 01742, United States
  • Fitz at The Colonial Inn November 23, 2017 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
  • Fitz at The Colonial Inn November 30, 2017 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
  • Catherine's B-day Party December 2, 2017
  • Fitz at The Colonial Inn December 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Listen to “Fires in the Belly”

Listen to “Campfire”

Listen to “Superman”

Listen to “No Dad To Come Home To”

Raccoon

Read “Crows & Swallows”

Read “Bigelow’s Field”

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