Sometimes the best feel-good music is born from pain. Country music’s rebellious sensation Creed Fisher knows it well, tracing his musical, and personal evolution back to a very unlikely, yet specific point of origin – a little blue house. No, it’s not a metaphor, but a real place, and one decorated by hard times and a few bad memories. “It’s starting from rock bottom,” he says of the symbolism. “That’s what the blue house represents in my mind.” While the ghosts of that dark period are something he’ll never forget, Fisher didn’t let his energy get trapped in the past, instead choosing to recognize, process and move forward. All of it served him well in overcoming life’s little kicks in the ass, and along the way, delivering albums full of asskicking good times and chart-topping hits.
He does however credit those days for reigniting the creative fire within, and leading to a bold and unconventional career ascension. “That eight years was the beginning of my struggle; the beginning of my music.” The little blue house, traumatic as it was, had a purpose in the greater developing picture of the man and the music he creates. After his thirteen year marriage collapsed, then thirty-three year old Fisher had to start over. “I was poor as fuck,” he recalls, “but I bought the blue house in Odessa. It was shithole but it was mine.” Then things seemed to get even worse, perpetuated by self-sabotage. “I kept screwing up,” he admits.“Getting DWI’s, getting thrown in jail, being on probation for 18 months, all while I was in the blue house.” As if that weren’t enough to break one’s spirit – another stint in the slammer. “I refused to quit smoking weed and told my officer it was my medicine. But then I ended up back in jail.” Creed Fisher was battered, but certainly not broken. “I straightened out.”
Influenced heavily by the wisdom of his grandfather and the musical tastes of his parents (from classic country to hard rock, George Straight to Ted Nugent), Creed Fisher’s childhood dream was to play music, but, as he asserts – “Life got in the way.” The journey to where he is today, like life, wasn’t a point A to point B road trip; Fisher’s took the proverbial scenic route. “I started writing songs just for therapy, to get things off my chest,” he says of the cathartic beginnings. “My music started in a dark place but it developed from there.” Reflecting on an unconventional entrance into the music business, he says “The odds were always against me.” From the get-go, Fisher’s maturity, attitude and a blue collar background didn’t parlay easily into a scene largely ruled by young people, where social networking protocol was the law. “I was coming at it from a situation where I already raised three kids, I was older, in my mid thirties, and had worked in the oil field for twenty years.” Not one to play the game, he sums up the acrimonious relationship defiantly – “Radio wouldn’t play me and I wouldn’t kiss ass.” So he took his talent elsewhere, and we can all be grateful he did!
While social networking isn’t his forte, Fisher’s foray into social media hit the mark. “I did it in reverse,” he punctuates with a chuckle, musing on the unusual formula of success. He didn’t hit the road touring, sell merch at booths, nor sign his life away at the first record deal to come his way. Fisher proclaims, “If you want to be successful, watch successful people.” He points to eclectic artist Upchurch as an example of someone who hustled to a level of success in DIY style. “In the new music business everyone’s brains are rewired,” Fisher continues, “Constant consumption, so you have to keep giving them something.” A self-described introvert, Fisher channeled the power of the internet age, and in 2012 started releasing music himself. “You can’t just put out stuff that sucks,” he insists. “And you gotta hit it from different angles.” Songs such as ‘Rednecks Like Us’ took on a life of its own, resonating with people on identifiable levels. He credits that relatability to songwriting rooted in real life, not the fantastical glitz and glamour of manufactured music industry imagery. “I started writing from dysfunction and pain,” he reiterates, adding, “But you have to mix it up. It can’t all be sad songs.You gotta take people on a rollercoaster of emotions; laugh, drink and cry.” Perhaps most importantly, Fisher builds his repertoire with mindfulness for the essence running deep through the works of his most profound influences, the OG’s of outlaw music. They had a fundamental quality most music today lacks. “Storytelling,” he declares, “That’s what people are longing for, what’s missing in country.” The approach worked, validated In short time by garnering seven top fives on iTunes as an independent artist.
The release of Creed Fisher’s Whiskey and the Dog album on the Dirtrock Empire label is the culmination of hard work, a great band and a milestone partnership. Says Fisher, “The reason I signed with Dirt Rock is they didn’t ask me to change and they had a track record of success,” adding, “it’s a marriage” and one he doesn’t take lightly. “It’s a match made in heaven. I wouldn’t sign with just anybody. It was meant to be but it was going to take the right situation for me to let anybody in my life and music.”
The musical end result delivers something for everybody. Fisher promises an album that will take you through every emotion and inspire a hell-raising good time, where “Every song paints a picture.” The vibes on singles ‘Good Ol’ US of A’, ‘High on the Bottle’, and ‘This Town,’ he says, “make you wanna drink and go to a honky tonk, make you swell up with pride of where you’re from and who you are, and make you reflect on your life.” He also guarantees a lot of humor with tracks like ‘Don’t California my Texas’ and ‘Girls with big Titties.’ “And the concept of Whisky and the Dog,” he excitedly confesses, “is telling your spouse to shove their opinion up their ass,” whereas the lighthearted ‘Hankles’ is an homage to his lovable four legged friend. “Every song paints a picture and it’s all really country,” he says of the entire album. “There’s one semi country-rock party song, but besides that it’s very country, older style with those instruments.” Overall, expect the unapologetic, unfiltered and always authentic hallmarks of Creed Fisher’s unmistakable style; patriotic, politically incorrect and pulling no punches. “I do what I do for me and my fans, regardless of who gets offended.”
Looking back, he’s reminded of the hard work and diligence it takes to make it. “The odds were against me all along, but I just wouldn’t go away. I messed up a couple times, fell down, but fought through it all to get where I’m at.” His story is the story of everyone who knows the value of hard work and a never give up determination. “Keep digging, keep working. When you do that you do things you never thought possible.” Moving forward, don’t think Creed Fisher is slowing down the pace yet either; there’s a lot more in store for eager fans. “I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Now I’m excited to go out on tour with The Lacs. Looking forward to get out there.”