William Fitzsimmons Shares Cover Of Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly”; Nearly Sold Out Dates With Josh Radin Announced

March 9, 2018 BY Nettwerk


Out today, singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons puts his spin on Tom Petty’s classic “Learning To Fly.”

Speaking to his admiration for Petty, Fitzsimmons says, “Tom Petty was a hero of mine.  I don’t remember the first time I heard his voice or the unmistakable melodies he’s been making for decades and decades.  But I do know that there has never been an artist like him before and probably won’t ever be again.  He’s not the best singer I’ve ever heard, far from it.  He has a relatively simple delivery: there’s no affectation or pretense.  He sings the words and you believe what he says.  His songs are not exercises in size or production or glamour.  They are concise, potent, and inviting.  And yet in those short, sweet, sometimes hard songs, I’ve found so much of myself, my own thoughts and insecurities, my own disappointments and desires.  I think that’s what great art is supposed to be: a window through which you can see more of yourself and other people as you and they really are.  I think it might be a stretch to some people to compare what Tom did to what George Seurat, Van Gogh, or Claude Monet did, but to me, it’s the same.  I will miss knowing that he’s out there writing songs that will help me and others find a little bit of truth.

Why “Learning To Fly”? “I’ve been covering Tom Petty songs ever since I learned how to play guitar.  There’s not much greater joy than hearing the opening chords to “Free Falling” played on an acoustic guitar.  I chose to cover “Learning To Fly” after hearing the awful news of Tom’s death because I wanted a way to say “thank you” to him, some small way, for all that he’s given to me,” he adds.

Fitzsimmons hits the road with Joshua Radin, beginning March 13 and wraps on April 10 in Los Angeles at the famed Hollywood venue the Troubadour.  Partnering with City Winery, there will be shows in Atlanta, Nashville, Boston, NYC and Chicago.  See full dates below.

Tour Dates (with Joshua Radin):

Tues., 3/13            Clearwater, FL @ Capitol Theatre

Thurs., 3/15            Atlanta, GA @ City Winery (sold-out)

Fri., 3/16            Nashville, TN @ City Winery  (sold-out)

Fri., 3/16            Nashville, TN @ City Winery (second show)

Mon., 3/19            Boston, MA @ City Winery

Tues., 3/20            Boston, MA @ City Winery

Wed., 3/21            New York, NY @ City Winery (sold-out)

Thurs., 3/22            New York, NY @ City Winery (sold-out)

Mon., 3/26            Chicago, IL @ City Winery (sold-out)

Tues., 3/27            Chicago, IL @ City Winery (sold-out)

Wed., 3/28            Chicago, IL @ City Winery (sold-out)

Sat., 4/7            San Diego, CA @ Music Box

Mon., 4/9            West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour (sold-out)

Tues., 4/10            West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour (sold-out)

About William Fitzsimmons:

“Learning To Fly” follows 2016’s Live album and the profoundly personal Pittsburgh series, two mini-albums that tell the story of the grandmother he grew up with (Pittsburgh Volume 1) and the grandmother that he never knew because his father was orphaned as an infant (Charleroi: Pittsburgh Volume 2). Fitzsimmons’ 2014 full-length Lions (produced by Chris Walla/Death Cab For Cutie), which debuted at #2 on the Top New Artist Albums’ chart, as well as Top 5 on the Folk Albums chart.  The appeal of Fitzsimmons’ sound is indicative of his unique upbringing and consequent life experience. Born to two blind parents, Fitzsimmons grew up in a home where sound – particularly music – was integral to communication. His parents had an assortment of guitars, pianos and other instruments, and introduced young William to the music of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, among others. For many years, armed with a Master’s degree in counseling, he worked as a mental health therapist, and only began recording his songs during graduate school breaks. Fitzsimmons’ music has also been licensed to a wide variety of networks including ABC, NBC, MTV, Lifetime and CW and he has been featured in Billboard, NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin, NYLON Guys, Musikexpress, Uncut, Q Magazine and American Songwriter Magazine.