Fisher brings ‘mountain music from the Rust Belt’ to benefit CDWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike “Fish” Fisher’s folk music has been called “mountain music from the Rust Belt,” a description he embraces.
“I do a lot of traveling and writing down South. That’s where my weird sound comes from that doesn’t really belong up here,” Fisher said.
He spends most of the spring and summer playing music in Toledo. In the fall and winter he heads south where he plays shows and occasionally escapes into the woods to hike.
“It’s hard to be out in the mountains and the woods and not get inspired,” he said.
Fisher wrote “You’re a Stunner” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
“It’s basically a collection of cheap pickup lines I’ve embedded in my head and I just put them in the right order and made them rhyme,” Fisher said. “I was riding into Asheville, North Carolina, for dinner and thought of it on the ride there and then I jotted it down on whatever napkin or placemat was there. Then I tweaked the wordplay for the next couple weeks.”
He said he wrote the song with his wife Christina in mind.
“They are all things that at one time or another I said to my wife,” Fisher said. “I’m always trying to come up with the next clever thing to impress her.”
The lighthearted song is part of Fisher’s not-so-lighthearted second album, “Gunpowder & Gasoline,” which came out in May.
“I knew I had some very deep songs coming on the album and some challenging things and I just kind of wanted to write one that’s fun to hear and fun to play,” he said.
Fisher recorded the song with producer E.J. Wells in Waterville.
“We’ve worked together so long he can read my mind,” Fisher said. “I told him I wanted a down-home flavor for the pop-oriented song. We added banjo under the track. That added some roots and let the melody be the pop part.”
Fisher planned to submit the song to last year’s American Red Cross benefit CD, but the recording wasn’t done in time. After the album came out, Fisher gave a copy to Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller, who asked him about using “You’re a Stunner” on this year’s CD.
“That confirmed it for me,” Fisher said. “It kind of picked itself.”
Many who are familiar with Fisher’s folk performances wouldn’t guess he’s also part of a heavy metal band, Societys Ugly Son, which performs all original songs and has released five albums.
Fisher said he’s happy to lend his talents to a cause like the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio.
“Usually musicians can give back more by what we’re creating than what we own,” Fisher said. “I don’t have much to give but I can give you access to things I wrote.”