Patrick Fitzsimmons, formerly of the New Jersey grass roots band From Good Homes, found himself at a crossroads in 1999 in both his personal and professional life. Divorce shook his personal life. His ex-wife moved to Burlington, VT, with their child, so Fitzsimmons, who had lived in New Jersey most of his life, headed there, too. That was just the beginning. After ten years of touring and creating songs, From Good Homes bid farewell to a packed house at Waterloo Village in Byram, NJ, in 1999. It was a time of reflection for Fitzsimmons, who wanted to spend more time with his family, but didn't want to leave music entirely behind him. So he embarked on a solo career, which resulted in his first full-length solo CD, The Changing, in 2001. Fitzsimmons co-produced the disc with former bandmate Dan Myers and recorded it in the winter of 2000 at a barn/studio called Cool Springs Farm in Stillwater, NJ. For the sessions, he assembled a group of his longtime musician friends, including bassists Brady Rymer and Paul Kuzik, conga player Carey Harmon, electric guitarist Jamie Coan, Hammond organist Damien Calcagne, mandolinist John Shekan III, cellist Lori Bach, and violinist Tim Carbone. At age 39, Fitzsimmons addressed the many changes in his personal life and in life in general on the disc, but more importantly all the songs showed a gentle, poignant understanding of how to adapt a positive, open attitude about life's contingencies. Fitzsimmons discovered his love for music at an early age in Sparta, NJ, by listening to the singer/songwriters of the '70s, particularly Cat Stevens' Matthew & Son, Tea for the Tillerman, and Buddha & the Chocolate Box. He first played drums in his youth and they became his primary instrument in From Good Homes. After his divorce in 1999, he gravitated to guitar, because he needed an outlet to express his feelings and the guitar gave him a way to pursue his interest in writing songs and more importantly brought him a sense of personal fulfillment. On his debut solo disc in 2001, Fitzsimmons drew on his main mentors such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Dan Fogelberg, Gordon Lightfoot, and Don McLean. In his songs, Fitzsimmons expressed his feelings of displacement both physically and emotionally in his life, yet showed he truly had arrived home both in spirit and in song with the completion of The Changing.
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