The lyricist and the musician
Lifelong friends collaborate on project
It’s a partnership formed in musical heaven. Albert (Tom) Christopher writes the lyrics. David Fitzpatrick writes the music, then records, engineers, arranges, produces and masters their albums. Fitzpatrick also plays and sings.
In what must be some kind of a record, this dynamic duo released three CDs of 38 songs in 2010. And that’s only the beginning of what they want to do.
Fitzpatrick and Christopher are lifelong friends, and both moved to Toronto at a young age. Fitzpatrick eventually ended up pursuing a musical career in California, but never quite got his foot in the door.
He did find a “ beautiful lady and ended up having a good family out of it.”
Christopher worked many different jobs, but their paths eventually took them back to Newfoundland, and they now live in the Bay Roberts area.
Dream come true
Fitzpatrick has been recording music since he was 10. Over the last decade or so, he and his brother, Greg, released two albums. In addition, Dave has produced 60-70 albums and played on over 100, including three with the Fables, a well-known Newfoundland Celtic rock band.
Fitzpatrick has his own recording studio today, and is in the business making a musician’s dreams come true. Christopher is one of those.
“ Writing songs and having them recorded has always been a dream of mine,” Christopher says.
However, Christopher doesn’t sing, and describes music as a “ foreign language.” So it helps that Fitzpatrick is such a talented performer.
The partnership works very well, they both agree.
Fitzpatrick wrote the music for all 12 songs on their first album, includingLove is Real,I Said I Do,Sammy’s SongandRed, White and You. He also did the vocals, as well as played all the instruments, including drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, mandolin and banjo.
Four months later, a Christmas album appeared, featuring Christopher’s original songs and Fitzpatrick’s music, includingSanta Almost Missed Our TownandChristmas in July.
Then, before the year was out, a third album hit the shelves. It includes such songs asMake a Visit (to Mad Rock),Military WifeandShattered Dreams.
Christopher realizes that without his friend’s support, his lyrics “ would just be papers in a folder in a bedroom closet.” Fitzpatrick adds: “I’m floored when I listen to his lyrics.”
With such high praise, it’s little wonder the lyrics continue to flow for Christopher. And as for the music, Fitzpatrick said he’s compiling the tune in his head as he reads the lyrics.
It’s almost like the musician can read the lyricist’s mind. The styles range from rock to country.
“ We can do any kind of genre to challenge ourselves,” Fitzpatrick says.
Christopher writes about real-life experiences because he wants to “touch base with the common person.” His lyrics revolve around such perennial topics as the fishery, military, family and relationships. He even addresses social issues, like drinking and driving.
The two are pleased with what Christopher calls “the fantastic feedback” their albums receive from both listeners and the media.
Fitzpatrick is happy to be helping musicians, many of whom, like Christopher, “can’t afford to pay the $5,000 to $10,000 everybody’s charging to do a CD. It’s nice to be able to make that feasible for people.” Is there anything Fitzpatrick doesn’t do? “Make money,” he says with a grin. He’s disappointed that, in his opinion, musicians “outside the overpass get overlooked by all the funding from government,” a reality he hopes will change someday.
“I’m hoping we can continue to put out albums as long as the quality is good,” Christopher says. To which his buddy, Fitzpatrick, says, “He’s got something to leave his grandchildren that he can be very proud of, and I’m proud to be part of it with him.”
Lifelong friends, Dave Fitzpatrick and Tom Christopher, surrounded with recording equipment in Dave’s studio.