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#5 Brian Fitzpatrick: Further Down The Line

By Gary Wien

Further Down The Line is a devastatingly personal, soul-searching album.  Brian Fitzpatrick creates an amazing cast of characters to mask the problems taking place within his own life at the time.  It’s an utterly beautiful, brutally honest, and simply haunting release.

Born in Holliston, MA, Brian grew up in Wayne.  While in high school, a friend turned him on to the first Youth of Today record.  He was immediately attracted  to the  lyrics and wound up part of New Jersey’s potent hardcore scene.  He played in several bands and got to tour throughout America and Europe, but something just didn’t feel right.  He decided to leave hardcore  and return to his first love of singer-songwriters.

From 1998 to 2004, Fitzpatrick released an album every two years.  While success in his musical career alluded him, his work as an animator and graphic designer were bringing home awards and accolades.  He worked as an animator for UPN 9, Fox 5 NY, MSNBC, and CNBC.  He also designed the artwork for releases from such high profile artists as The Rolling Stones and The Animals.  Successes here, including two Emmy Awards, made him question his musical career.

As the songs on Further Down The Line were being written, a good friend of Brian’s was murdered, further dimming his desire to play music.  Her death created a certain sadness that runs throughout the album.  Characters try to find themselves in a world where all hope appears lost. 

Years later, Brian says the song “For Mr. Brown... Wherever You Are” might be more of a goodbye to music rather than about his friend’s passing as he originally thought.  Fitzpatrick would stop playing music after this release, but, thankfully, not for too long.

Highlights include “Madonna In Rags,” “Stuck In Boston,” “Across The River,” “For Mr. Brown... Wherever You Are,” “Far From Thee,” “Drunk In Vegas,” and “Valhalla.” 

From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien

Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

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originally published: 01/26/2012

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