Jeremy Fisher brings catchy tunes to Fratters this weekend

Fresh off the launch of his latest CD The Lemon Squeeze, Jeremy Fisher has hit the road on a tour which includes a City stop Oct. 18th.

He performs at Fratters Speakeasy.

Fans will relish tunes from his latest project, including the hit Uh-Oh which features Serena Ryder.

Reaching Top 10 status weeks after its release, Uh-Oh proved Fisher’s transition into the pop music scene.

“It’s a really fun show – I’ve got a trio with me on the road,” he explains during a break. “It’s fun to play all the new stuff with the piano and keyboards and also to reinvent the older stuff and hearing all the harmonies on them again. It’s cool.”

After developing a fan base through five folk-influenced releases, Fisher, has indeed ventured in a new direction with The Lemon Squeeze.

The decision to make a pop record was solidified after a discussion with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F.

“When we first sat down, we batted around the idea of a pop record that would stay true to my typical, acoustic guitar-driven solo show,” he explains. “But when I started to write, the songs just weren’t coming on guitar.

“I reached out to Gus for some encouragement, and we started chatting about albums that we were both into.”

Enter Randy Newman’s 1972 album Sail Away.

“I told Gus that I had always wanted to record a piano-based album and he persuaded me to follow through on that.

“I started practicing piano in a very deliberate and disciplined manner. I think the joy and novelty of spending time on a different instrument made space for new music in my brain, and I ran with it.”

The end result was everything from Newman-inspired piano ballads with strings to Queen-esque guitar licks to Billy Joel-styled pop.

“The way we listen to music is changing and as much as I tried to create a cohesive body of work, The Lemon Squeeze plays like an album of singles. It was liberating to make every song on the record unique.”

Fisher has certainly had an interesting journey since he began recording some 14 years ago.

In 2001, he promoted the indie release of his debut Back Porch Spirituals with a bicycle tour that started in Seattle and ended six months later in Halifax.

“It was kind of a lifestyle for me there for awhile, I’d be biking all over the country and sleeping in a tent. So it was something I’d been doing – the accurate way to describe it is that I incorporated music into my bike touring rather than vice versa.”

In 2004, Let It Shine’s second single, High School, received extensive radio and television airplay.

He also supported Bedouin Soundclash and Xavier Rudd on tour, and opened for Alanis Morisette at the Expo World Fair in Nagoya, Japan.

In 2007, Goodbye Blue Monday was released and the single Cigarette became another hit for Fisher.

Looking back further, he recalls growing up in a home where music was a definite priority. His parents weren’t musicians per se, but his grandfathers were – so there’s definitely something in the genes.

His folks would urge him to play a few tunes for company – much to his chagrin. But as the years passed, his gift for entertaining and for crafting memorable tunes flourished. It was obvious what his path in life would be.

“I guess it’s in the blood a little bit – I just always loved music, and I always loved making music,” he says. “No matter what it was – the piano or my grandmother’s organ which had all kinds of sounds on it. It was fascinating to me. I knew pretty young that no matter what I did, music would always be a part of my life.”

Indeed. He also describes it as a wonderful means of helping him cope with the challenges that life inevitably brings.

“It’s kind of a coping mechanism for me in life. I use it like a person might use a drug to change my brain chemistry. I can sit at the piano or pick up a guitar and just waste away hours and hours – I can still do that if I can find the time. It calms me and it’s so enjoyable.”