Ryan Fitzsimmons

Ryan Fitzsimmons

 Amesbury, Massachusetts, USA
BandAmericanaFolk

Aquarium Drunkard said: "His rhythmic folk songs are more of the hand-banging variety, his delivery marked with dark traces like the end of the night, and he plays with captivating confidence."

Biography

Ryan Fitzsimmons has steadily built a reputation as one of the Northeast's most compelling songwriters.

Over the past 10 years Ryan has woven his way throughout New England, creating a strong presence in a number of the local music scenes. While living in Providence RI, the Providence Phoenix awarded him the title of Best Male Vocalist. Ryan was also the founder of the AS220 Sunday Songwriters Series which continues to this day. Upon relocating to the Boston area Ryan has become a fixture in the Americana scene with regular appearances at venerable Cambridge venues such as Club Passim, the Lizard Lounge and Toad. This all has proved to be fertile ground for his latest release "Cold Sky", produced by David "Goody" Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey). He is now poised to let the rest of the country in on a secret his loyal New England following has know for quite sometime; that Ryan Fitzsimmons shows are a powerhouse event, compelling, and genre defying as his songwriting.

Ryan and his band entered the Signature Sounds studio for a series of sessions, yielding fantastic results. With an outpouring of support from his fan base via a kickstarter campaign, "Cold Sky" has just been released. Showcasing all sides of his talent, from the catchy bluegrass tinged hook of "I Don't Want to Wait", to the dark electrically-bent melancholy of "Cigarettes", this album is a journey. It takes us through dark shadows of grief and regret, to the simple resolve that there is nothing better than creating music in a room with your friends. This record is a documentation, recorded mostly live, of what Ryan's been doing on stage for years; pouring every ounce of his being into each note. The listener can't help but to buckle in and enjoy the ride!

2008 Newport Folk Festival
2008 Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen Best Unfiltered Band Top 10 Finalist
2008 NERFA TriCentric Showcase
2007 Best Local Male Vocalist - Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll
2007 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase
2005 Best Male Vocalist and Best Local CD - Rhode Island Motif Readers Poll
2005 Winner Starbucks/Nemo Emerging Artist
"Open All Night" Providence Phoenix Best of 2004

Lyrics

Will My Mind

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

Will My Mind
© 2005 Ryan Fitzsimmons

Those Christmas lights are glowing yellow
On a maple tree that looks like hell
Strange mix of tinsel and dead leaves
Outside the waterfront motel
The clouds are as gray as your eyes
That used to sparkle ocean blue
But the sea will always match the skies
And my weather will never equal you

This resort town is abandoned
The winter months just bring the cold
To all the gift shops by the town dock
Where the sunny postcards will be sold
The ice is halfway through the inlet
Pretty soon it is going to freeze straight on through
I’ll walk out on the water
And will my mind away from you

I can’t say I blame you for leaving
I can’t say we didn’t have some fun
We watched the town lights on the water
Fade out with the morning sun
These islands are so pretty
When they’re the only thing you know
But this world is full of other beauty
So I understand you had to go

Now the snow is blowing sideways
With the first good storm of the year
There’s nothing moving down on main street
There’s nothing living around here
Those breezy summer scenes
Can be so hard to live up to
So I’ll just breathe in this cold air
And will my mind away from you
So I’ll walk out on the water
And will my mind away from you

I’ve been going to church on Sunday
For lack of something else to do
I’ve been trying to get close to God
Since I can’t be close to you.

Idle Hands

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

Idle Hands
© Copyright 2004 Ryan Fitzsimmons

Vegas Jim and Cross-eyed Sue
On a Saturday night with nothing better to do
Jim picked her up about 11:04
You could feel trouble when they slammed the door

Jim grew up in a house of lies
You could see the bruises in his eyes
Cross-eyed Sue had a cracked glass mind
Her and Jim were a pair of a kind

Chorus -
Every night in this town burns you
Takes a while to understand
One more night with nothing to do
Boredom makes for dangerous plans
Devil love’s those Idle Hands

In the hammer lane doing 95
Dotted white line keeping them alive
'Round exit 9 they veered off slow
Down to the quick fill down the road

Chorus

Jim bust in with a loaded gun
Looked at the clerk said, "Let's have some fun,
This Barretta's cocked and ready to roll,
So open the drawer man, nice and slow."

Chorus

Sue came in with an old suitcase
The loaded up the dough and then they split the place
They walked out in to the hick-town night
Just in time for the flashing lights

There were 7 cops to 2 of them
But Vegas Jim is a gambling man
He just smiled as he tripped the line
Behind the door, just enough C4, to make sure everybody has a good time

Chorus

Now the gas station's a pile of bricks and smoke
Jim and Sue are laughing at their joke
Back on the highway, quarter to 2
On a Saturday night with nothing better to do

On a Saturday night with nothing better to do...

Dear Eugene

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

(c) 2007 Ryan Fitzsimmons BMI

Dear Eugene
Where am I going today?
The dark is coming on and the path is splitting different ways
There is no map, I guess I’m really on my own
Eugene, which one of them leads home

All I see
Are the tears welling up in her eyes
While she’s carrying the fear of hearing another goodbye
They’re so damn blue, and so am I
When all I can say is “pretty baby please don’t cry”

Eugene
I need to hear your voice again
Telling me how to bring her tears to an end
With the answers that I just don’t know
Eugene, why did you have to go?

I found a card
That I wrote you but I just never sent
It said “Dad, happy birthday, you don’t how much you’ve meant”
I forgot it at the time, you were just a phone call away
Now there are so many things that I’d pick up that phone and say

Eugene
I need to hear your voice again
Telling me how to bring her tears to an end
With the answers that I just don’t know
Eugene, why did you have to go?

Eugene
You told her to take care of me
You could always spot the signs I never could see
No matter how far up the road, they were always painted in your mind
Eugene, I wish you had a little more time
To show me these things I just can’t find

Eugene
I need to hear your voice again
Telling me how to bring her tears to an end
With the answers that I just don’t know
Eugene, why did you have to go?

Dear Eugene
Where the hell am I going today?

Ashes

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

Ashes
© 2006 Ryan Fitzsimmons

If the law comes knocking I might just sent them your way
Since I over heard you talking on the main line yesterday
We were playing Russian roulette, it was the game we'd always choose
It was always five to one I guess that someone had to loose

You thought yourself the prophet poet flying high above the scene
Erasing lines and blurring edges between reality and dreams
With a gaze much wider than how singular it seems
Now that you lost track of the way you got your means

It all lies below you as you fall above the ashes

She was beautiful like pictures of the mountains in Tibet
Glorious and unattainable by those who haven't been there yet
You thought they were all bastards, but they were just caught in the glare
It's not everyday you see that kind of halo around here

But you saw it and you used it like a free book of matches
Letting each one burn your fingers till you dropped them on the floor
And when the last flame was gone, through the wispy smell of sulfur
You tossed the book aside and when out in search of more
But 'neath the cover on the cardboard lies a number scratched in pencil
And some words you've done your dammedest to ignore

Now all that is pining in your hall is just the ashes

The old ones smile back at you because they know your bound to roll
Their jaded eyes and white lies shine in the water of your soul
That flows the path of least resistance, as crooked as the cracks
In the mirror that you shattered when you saw what was looking back

No reflection, no perception, no consequence to your deceit
No sympathy for the pigeons laying bloody at your feet
Now that razors in your pocket and your smiling sicky sweet
At the next victim that you're about to meet

They all wait in line just to find themselves in ashes

I can't say that I like this, or that I'm not like you
Yeah, there are moments I commit the same crimes that you do
We're seeking the glory of flying up to the sun
But there's more wax in my wings than I had thought when I was young

Hell, I'm STILL young, and I'm still full up
Of ideals and false pretense
Trying to walk the fine line between pride and arrogance
But when you sacrifice the journey to indulge the present tense
Will your soul withstand the weight of the expense?

Now all that's waiting for your curtain call are just the ashes

So here's to what you stand for
Be careful who you trust
You want to go up in ashes
But your destination's dust.

North Central Line

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

North Central Line
(c) 2006 Ryan Fitzsimmons

There are boards on the windows and locks on the doors
Though there’s nothing to keep safe inside anymore
Just aged yellow paper and old photographs
Lying there on the floor like some sad epitaph
Oh lying there on the floor
Scraps of history lying, not a whole lot more

I’m waiting on the North Central Line
At a station that has no place or time
On a platform pushed up against the new highway
Waiting with the ghosts here at night
Searching for the tracks or the light
Of the engines that interstate dusted away
That train don’t stop anymore…

There’s a bridge over nothing on the old interstate
Just past Orleans ‘round mile 168
10 tons of steel over an old railroad bed
Just in case they decide to bring it back from the dead
Maybe lay those tracks down once more
from those city lights
To the Ontario Shore

Waiting on the North Central Line
At a station that has no place or time
On platform that is slowly rotting away
Waiting with the statues at night
Searching for what’s long out of sight
At this station next to the new highway
That train don’t stop anymore

Gleaming white sign for the last gas station
Out on the new highway
Takes on a new kind of personification
Out on the new highway
I’m sure that horizon looks just like a mirror
Out on the new highway
Maybe the blue reflection’s a little bit clearer
Out on the new highway

The frames of your mind all intertwine
Out on the new highway
All of the tears seem a bit less sincere
Out on the new highway
The ghosts of the past are all walking at last
Out on the new highway
The trains are all gone but your still moving on
Out on the new highway

Waiting on the North Central Line
At a station that has no place or time
On platform where nobody waits anyway
Waiting is only a word
That is seldom spoken or heard
At this station up against the new
That train don’t stop anymore
That train don’t stop anymore

Your State of Mind

Written By: Ryan Fitzsimmons and JJ Baron

Does it suffice to say that mortal hearts are blind
Given this low down situation, given your uptown state of mind
The loaded dice you play won’t buy you any time
Given this low down situation, given your uptown state of mind

Hey momma did you see my face on the picture screen
I took a streetcar named desire but it left me somewhere in between
Hey momma are we just moving from scene to scene
Moving in and out of somewhere but I’m never really where I seem

Is it enough to try and memorize your lines
Given this low down situation, given your uptown state of mind
Choke back the tears and deny mistakes you can’t rewind
Given this low down situation, given your uptown state of mind

Hey momma did you see my face on the picture screen
I was standing on the waterfront trying to justify the means
Hey momma are we just moving from scene to scene
Were you emulating Monroe, living in the Whole Year Inn

Is it all right if we just leave the script behind
Given this low down situation, given your uptown state of mind
Your state of mind

Set List

A typical full show setlist is mostly original with a few well-chosen covers mixed in.

Ryan also has enough material to cover any sort of set time requirement or need.

Originals:

Open All Night
LoFi
Write It Down
Will My Mind
Ashes
Dear Eugene
North Central Line
Spiked Heels
Your State of Mind
Don’t Want to Wait
Diamond Ring
Everything I Want
Destiny
Mirror Calm Water
Idle Hands
Empty Glass
Tell
Rain Words
Not Just Another
Streetlights (beginning to understand)
Burn This
Haley Wall
With This Far to Go
Front Door
Falling Under
Fast
Aiming For Eden
Tonight
Get Out
Lightning
Last Chance Gas Station
Brighter Now

Partial List of Covers:

The Road Goes On Forever - Robert Earl Keen
Between Us - Harry Connick Jr.
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Centerfold - J. Geils Band
Kids - MGMT
Oasis - Wonderwall
Bad Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
F*ck You - Cee Lo Green
I Told Her That My Dog Woul