In a city where stars are expected to shine bright, burn out and fade away, the stars that shine steady are too often overlooked. Dale Fisher is one such star. He’s a well-traveled musician who has written and recorded with John Mellencamp, conquered the Los Angeles local scene, climbed a mountain of soundtracks, recorded and performed around the world, and even penned a commercial jingle or two. Fisher, an Iowa native who transplanted in Los Angeles after musical detours to ski resorts in the West and New Orleans, Little Rock, Memphis and in between as well as all over Europe. Fisher offers a perspective that’s not common in the ever-changing, always- cynical music industry; he boasts an airy and buoyant, acoustic guitar-based sound, densely spackled around a farm-fresh foundation. He can, and has, impressed staunch Hollywood crowds and celebrity types with his dynamic lyrics about life and love, and he does so with a musical transparency virtually unheard of in a city where the neon nights of the Sunset Strip offer so little solitude to the bleeding heart of a wear-your-heart-on-your- sleeve singer-songwriter.
The band that Fisher moved to Los Angeles with the Qkumbrz, became a name of local L.A. legend, saturating the South Bay area with the same Midwest-flavor that had made Fisher such a consistent crowd-friendly favorite. Blitzing crowds with infectious, guitar-and- keyboard driven pop and feel good, celebratory rock, it wasn’t long before they were noticed by a local management team with ties to Heartland rocker John Mellencamp, who not only hand-picked the band to share a stage with him at Farm Aid, but also wrote and recorded with Fisher and his Qkumbrz, placing their “Hold Me Like You Used To Do” on the acclaimed soundtrack for his motion picture directing debut, “Falling From Grace.”
As an alumni of the heralded Berklee School of Music, Fisher has recorded nearly a dozen albums at home and abroad, been awarded a gold record for his work on Poe’s “Hello” debut, had a hit single with the song “Take It All In” (a track that was also featured on the soundtrack of Christine Ricci’s “No Vacancy”), and evolved his Qkumbrz into the alternative-rock leaning Jettson, a current fixture on the Hollywood scene.
Now, with a resume longer than most modern celebrity rap sheets, Dale Fisher is setting out on his own. Surrounded by players hand-picked to supplement his lush musical and lyrical tapestries, the songs on his solo debut shine with the tranquil warmth of “I Fall Apart,” the vibrant bounce of “Going Back To L.A.” He packs infectious hooks that suit the stripped-down style of Adult Alternative radio, while clamoring with a folk-flavored ’70s soul, weaving a sound so perfectly suited for Adult Contemporary formats, it is uncanny.
On an album with no shortage of musical and emotional highlights, the crowning achievement is “I Want You To Know,” a warmth caressing the country- rock inflections to epic heights. It’s a simple love song, but one so perfect, it’s a career-maker. The band are equally impressive, Fisher and his acoustic guitar fronting a lineup that boasts Wallflowers organist/piano player Rami Jaffee (the fingers responsible for Hammond Organ on “One Headlight”), bassist Paul Ill (Linda Perry, Juliette and the Licks) and drummer Kellii Scott (Veruca Salt, Failure). Even Veruca Salt frontwoman Louise Post joins the mix, contributing vocals on the jangling guitars of “Someone To Hold On To” and the more pensive “Factual.”
Dale Fisher has never had a hard time finding people to support his music.