Shutterfish track opens window for joy in midst of painWritten by Jordan Finney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
One Toledo duo’s original song embraces an “old-school, Gordon Lightfoot vibe” to communicate a fictional, heart-wrenching account about the effects of war.
Shutterfish band members, Scott Fish and Chris Shutters, co-authored “Wide Open” for their 2007 album.
The track is a fictional story about a brother and sister who are close childhood friends. When they grow up, Gracie goes to college and Lyonell gets shipped off to the Iraq War where he is “devoured by desert sands.”
“We can play it flawlessly live by ourselves,” Fish said. “A lot of other songs are very big productions, but this one’s pretty bare guitar, bass, and drums. When you record a song, you record the basic parts and you only try to add what I needs. This one just didn’t need anything more — it speaks for itself.
The lyrics highlight Gracie’s remembrance of her childhood camaraderie with her brother. It’s implied that she returns to the house where they grew up to see if Lyonell’s window is wide open because it always was.
“Even though it’s sad, I feel joy when I sing this song with Chris. Honestly, I feel joy anytime I sing with Chris,” Fish said. “It’s just so easy because the two of us have a nice balance. If I went one direction while playin’ something live, he’d be right with me. And if he does, I’m right with him.”
Fish, who grew up in Sylvania, said he feels proud to be part of Toledo’s grassroots music scene instead of the big industry that dominates traditional entertainment hubs, as in Los Angeles.
“As artists, we battle a huge monopoly and you either get in their favor or you’re out there in La La Land,” Fish said. “Toledo has lots of dedicated fans and they’re great. Probably the music’s better here because it’s not dominated by the industry. But most musicians in this town can’t just be artists.”
In addition to performing as the lead vocalist for his original songs, Fish plays piano, guitar, bass and some percussion. He is also proficient in graphic design and social media marketing.
“I have to wear all those hats to get where I’ve gotten in this town, which is nowhere, compared to where I’d be if I had moved to L.A. 25 years ago,” Fish said. “I didn’t do that because I believe in this town and believe I could make it happen here. Even though you can make a huge bang in this town and it’s never heard beyond the corn fields, I still love it here.”