A year gone already, which I can hardly believe, perhaps because I’ve continued to keep Robert Fisher’s voice close to my ear and his songs close by my elbow. For folks who have yet to hear it, there’s no time like the present to discover and explore the magnificent music of the Willard Grant Conspiracy. There’s a bunch of it here, along with some stuff I’ve written over the years about this prodigiously gifted artist who deserves to be heard, now and for the foreeable future. Dig in.
Amid birthdays and valentines, sad news hit this week as word spread that Robert Fisher, singer, songwriter, storyteller, and bandleader extraordinaire of the Willard Grant Conspiracy, died after a year-long struggle with cancer. I hadn’t spoken to Robert much in recent years, after his move back to his native California in 2003. But his expansively brooding baritone and band — at once comforting yet unsettling — were among the first things I heard and saw when I moved to Boston in 1997.
“He had been suffering throughout 2016 but typically of the man he never made any fuss whatsoever,” his London-based record label, Loose Music, posted on Facebook on Monday. “He was busy still holding down his day job and recording tracks for his 11th album. We first heard his music back in 1996 when Loose were doing press for Slow River/Rykodisc. The album was called ‘3am Sunday @ Fortune…
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