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DOUG FITCH (BMI/NSAI)

 
 
   

"FLY-A TRIBUTE TO JOHN DENVER" by Doug Fitch as heard on CBS radio.

 
Dallas Morning News-Thor Christensen and Mario Tarradell

It's not as high profile as Elton John's Princess Diana tribute, but Arlington-based singer-songwriter Doug Fitch is making waves with his own homage to the late John Denver. Mr.Fitch wrote and sings "Fly-A Tribute To John Denver," a ballad performed in the same acoustic-oriented, pop-folk style Mr. Denver mastered.

The song was first played Oct. 21 on KVIL-FM (103.7) by Ron Chapman from a home project studio demo tape Mr. Fitch delivered to the station. "The first thing [that caught my ear] was the sound of his voice," says Mr. Chapman. "He has a natural singing voice that is hauntingly like John Denver's. It's not an impersonation, it's the way he sings. The first three or four notes of it took my breath away. Then as I listened to the song I thought, 'It is a good song!'"

Mr. Chapman liked it so much he called Mr. Fitch and suggested he re-record the song at a professional studio. "It was a real good demo," the DJ says, "but if we are going to play it on the air, we wanted it to be as compatible with the other things we play as possible. Within 48 hours, we had the studio, the musicians and the arrangement. We love the end results. It would sound good on any radio station in the country."

Fort Worth Star Telegram-music critic Dave Ferman

Listeners to KVIL/103.7 FM have been hearing a new tune this week - a tribute to John Denver by Arlington singer-songwriter Doug Fitch. And next week, due to overwhelming demand, "Fly A Tribute To John Denver" will be available for purchase - much to the happy surprise of the man who wrote it just after Denver's Oct 12 death in a plane crash off the California coast. "It was something I felt I had to do - John Denver was my idol, my reason for picking up a guitar," says Fitch. He gave it to KVIL's drive time host Ron Chapman on Tuesday. .

"It shocked me," says Chapman. "He sounds just like John Denver and it has a John Denver feel but it's not a copy. I played it twice and decided to give it a try [Wednesday] and the response was unending."

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Indie-Music.com review by Jennifer Layton [link to below article]

Actually, from the sound of his full-length debut “Givin’ in to the Night,” Fitch is a sweet, spiritual man with a talent for writing sad country ballads. Mixed with the songs of love lost, cheatin’ hearts, and lonely nights are heartwarming songs of love to his family. “Candles and Ice Cream” even features an exchange at the end between Fitch and his young son Jacob that reminds me of the ending of Helen Reddy’s “You and Me Against the World.” He’s got an earnest and strong voice. His vocal style is reminiscent of his biggest musical influence, John Denver, but his voice is completely his own. He strains a bit on the high notes, sounding at his best when he keeps it in a lower range. His country voice is a perfect match for his honest, often vulnerable lyrics. “I Can’t Live With You,” a duet with Kathy Kersey, is a conflicted conversation sung just as you’d imagine the characters would speak. “I can’t live with you, but I never want to live without you. Tell me now, what are we going to do?” The most amazing track, the one that actually brought tears to my eyes, was Fitch’s tribute to John Denver, “Fly.” As a way of saying thanks for the musical inspiration, Fitch offers this song as a gift and puts everything he has into it. A string quartet gives the music an ethereal sound. The lyrics speak from the heart: “I never realized just how much we had in common, a love of flight, a dream to touch the sky.” Fitch even sounds like Denver when he sings this, although he’s not attempting to imitate him.

 
      Big Sur, CA Photograph by Doug Fitch (c) 2005  

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