Naked to the World is primarily a vehicle for singer/songwriter Kevin Fisher's literate and melodic folk songs. A former rock & roll junkie with a degree in English literature who converted to folk music because he thought it would be a more sensitive medium for his poetic lyrics, Fisher started his career as a solo performer and a staff songwriter for a Nashville publishing company. It was not until 1993, when Fisher was approached by Daryl S., a violinist with training in classical, jazz, and folk music and connections to the Turtle Island String Quartet, that Naked to the World was born. The band's self-titled debut focused on the collaboration between the two artists. But by the time Pilgrim's Kiss was released in 1996, the duo had expanded into a six-piece ensemble. David James joined Fisher on guitar and also played mandolin, mandola, violin, viola, and baritone ukelele. Darby Orr signed on to play bass, while David Casanova handled drums and Jeff Gross played percussion. New mom Daryl S. departed before the band recorded its third album, Glass Half Empty. The new lineup, which included Bill Cinque on bass and Peter Tornell on drums, moved toward a harder, more rock-oriented sound.
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