Doctor Fish’s Renaissance Records debut reveals a proud musical throwback—a guitar-wielding, storytelling folk-rock singer-songwriter. No fake retro act; he’s one of the last surviving purveyors of a style of music made famous by Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Gordon Lightfoot.
The road to Doctor Fish’s debut has been long and winding. As he sings in his “Tuesday Morning,” “You know that I’m still standing, just not where I thought I’d be.” He grew up playing saxophone in Tucson, Arizona, and pursued jazz through college. As a saxophonist, he backed legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Cher.
Somewhere along the way, the doctor picked up a guitar and began writing and singing songs.
His journey also found him earning a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and living in Japan for some years. From there, he founded a thriving program of study for students of popular music at a small college in North Carolina.
The good doctor’s emergence as a solo performer is a beautiful fluke that makes him one of the oldest artists with a debut release.
The legendary David Kershenbaum (Tracy Chapman, Tori Amos, Joe Jackson) produced the Last Troubadour. The album features bassist Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Carole King), drummer Denny Fongheiser (Heart, Counting Crows, Shawn Colvin), and top studio musicians from around the world.
“Harry Chapin” serves as the lead-off single for the album. A tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter, it helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chapin’s breakout hit, “Taxi,” and what would have been his 80th birthday. Harry’s son Jason calls the song a “great tribute” to his father.