There is so much about Annie Fitzgerald that commands attention. At first, it’s the hair. Most importantly, it’s the music. Combining the most beloved attributes of fellow folk/Americana singer/songwriters like Patty Griffin, Ray LaMontagne, and Shawn Colvin, Fitzgerald’s guitar-based songs and performances are a constant paradox of the striking and the subtle. Already heralded as an artist to watch by the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame with just two records released to date, she is making her mark with a simple perspective and an irresistible style.
Minnesota-born to an artistic family, she began exploring her creativity through dance when she was barely walking. Piano lessons followed in grade school, and her love for musical theater eventually led her to study at the Mountview Theater School in London and earn her membership with the Actor’s Equity Association as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. Theater fed her creative soul in a unique and powerful way, but also gracefully led to the conviction that she wanted to sing about things that were specifically important to her, to Annie, rather than to the characters she was playing. In short, she needed to sing her own songs, and most importantly, she needed to write them.
So she did.
New Year’s Day 2006 saw the release of her self-titled debut EP, from which the song “Ain’t That a Shame” was included in the 2007 Best of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame compilation CD, which featured the most talented performers from the 57th New Songwriters Showcase. She was deemed an artist to watch, and was presented with the award by the legendary Hal David. With such an auspicious debut on the strength of just a 3-song EP, the next step was clear: make a full-length album. Returning home to Minnesota from New York City, where she has lived since 2005, Annie teamed up with Producer Matt Patrick at Library Studios in Minneapolis to tackle the monumental task of creating and releasing her first full-length album, In Good Time.
Released in September of 2010, In Good Time is a most fitting title, considering the patience required as life led her to towards this album. “Like many people, I’ve gone through some life changing events over the years. Some joyous and some that really tested my confidence. So I’d been putting pressure on myself for years to tell these stories on record, but something was never quite right. With In Good Time I finally felt I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.” After saying it on record, she said it on the road, traveling over 5,300 miles on her own and sharing In Good Time with fans and friends throughout the Eastern United States. With her road warrior stripes proudly earned and an eye on the future, on the next record to come, she is back where she started and eager for the next round.
As for commanding attention, “I have to laugh about it,” says Fitzgerald, “because in many ways, I’m demographically unremarkable. White girl from Minnesota, good family, good childhood, good husband, good dogs. It’s just all so normal.” This commonplace life has become one of her strongest assets, however, because when people listen to Annie, it’s entirely because of the music. She embraces well-worn human themes like family, love, death, and yearning and offers a performance and perspective that feels completely new. Indeed, when she grabs her guitar and starts to sing, “unremarkable” has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Written by Phil Putnam