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Opening Act

Ian Fitzgerald

ARTIST PROFILE

Artist: Ian Fitzgerald

Website: www.ianfitzgerald.com

Hometown: Providence, RI

Latest Album/Release: You Won’t Even Know I’m Gone [2016]

Influences: Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Hank Williams

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your music?
Fitzgerald: I think of what I do as folk music.

TrunkSpace: Creatively, what is more intoxicating: gigging out or writing new music?
Fitzgerald: The two experiences are so different that it’s hard to quantify and compare. Each time I write a new song, I’m working with a blank slate, and things can go in any direction. When playing a show, the basics of each song are already in place, but there’s no limit to the number of ways those songs can be played and sung. One happens in complete solitude; the other happens (ideally) in front of a crowd that is actively participating in the experience. I’m lucky that I get to do both.

TrunkSpace: If you could hit the road with any act touring today, who would it be and why?
Fitzgerald: This one’s tough, because there are so many acts I’d love to tour with. It would be a real dream, though, to tour as the opener for Gillian Welch or the Dave Rawlings Machine (who are two sides of the same coin). I’m probably no different from an entire generation of folks/roots/Americana performers when I say that Gillian and Dave have had an immense influence on my songwriting and my approach to making music. Practically speaking, it would be a great benefit to get my music in front of their audiences each night. Selfishly, it would also be a thrill to get to see them perform every night and to see how they operate on the road.

TrunkSpace: How important is it for you to stay connected to your fans, and if so, how do you do that?
Fitzgerald: Keeping in touch with people who have an interest in my music is essential. Remaining active as a performing musician requires audiences, so I try to stay connected to anyone who’s come to a show or bought a CD or streamed a song. Social media, of course, gives any number of ways to reach out and interact with those people, so I try to remain at least somewhat active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I have an e-mail list, and I send out one update a month to everyone who’s subscribed on my site or at shows to let them know what I’m up to and what I have coming up. And the best way to stay connected is to interact face-to-face, so I’m happy to speak with folks who come to see me, whether they’ve seen me before and have returned for another show or they’re seeing me for the first time.

TrunkSpace: What do you hope people get out of listening to your music?
Fitzgerald: That’s hard to say. I used to have very defined ideas about how I thought people should best experience music, but I’ve come to realize that people’s experiences vary dramatically and that those varying experiences are no more or less valid than my own. For me, it’s gratifying when people share with me what they’ve gotten out of my music; I never would have expected some of what people have shared, including their responses to the music, their interpretations of the lyrics, or the feeling they got from being at a show. So, I suppose what I hope is that people are reacting in a meaningful way, whatever that may mean to them.

TrunkSpace: Where can people keep track of where you’ll be performing live?
Fitzgerald: I keep tour dates posted on my website (www.ianfitzgerald.com) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ianfitzgeraldmusic). And anyone who wants to receive a monthly e-mail from me can sign up on my website.

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