Unapologetic Country Music – that’s how Adam Fisher describes his latest album, “The Sessions at Aura Lea.” Just when it seems that country music has been forever hijacked and replaced with a new genre, a cohort of artists are simmering just below the surface, ready to reclaim ownership of true grit country music and Adam Fisher is among them.
Settled in the pines of Eastern North Carolina for generations, the Fisher family was always singing and there was always a guitar in the room. Old and young, each member would sing along with the likes of Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, Marty Robbins and Elvis Presley. Even as a child, Adam’s parents knew he was a talented old soul and that his love of country music would either make him “extremely successful or land him in jail.” He began performing at local bingo halls & community centers at the age of 13. By the time he turned 18, he brought The Adam Fisher Show to local bars, theaters and stages across the American South.
At 21, Adam followed the well-beaten path to Nashville, Tennessee. On his own for the first time, he filled his days writing songs and his nights playing in honky tonks. He sat down to write most frequently with Erin James, Brent Cobb, Scotch Taylor, Caleb Cain, Phillip Douglas and Cece Dubois. During these times he wrote “Harlan (Ballad of a Cole Miner),” “Slow Waltz (Honky Tonk Blues),” and “Caroline” all of which would end up on “The Sessions at Aura Lea” eight years later. Even as early as 2008, Adam remained true to the traditions of country music, honoring the legends that came before him. Singing the classics, like Waylon’s “Honky Tonk Heroes” and Don Williams’ “Good Old Boys Like Me,” that velvet baritone drawl could be heard floating down 2nd Avenue almost every night. By the end of his time on lower Broad, Adam was playing with the best band in town, but they had always looked and sounded different from the flood of pop-country happening around them. It was time to move on.
In 2012, The Bandoliers hit the road, opening for Shooter Jennings, David Alan Coe, Blackberry Smoke and others. The highlight of touring, though, was opening a show for Merle Haggard in 2013. During Adam’s soundcheck, the Mighty Hag leisurely ate supper at a table beside the stage and nodded his approval during “Slow Waltz (Honky Tonk Blues).” This small acknowledgment from his life-long hero nudged Adam in one direction – the studio.
Adam would not record this album on music row. He would do it on his own, in his own way. He and “Commander” Cody Leppo (band leader, drummer, engineer) built the studio from nothing, assembling it piece by piece. Once the space was ready, it was time to begin the real work. In the following years Adam and the Commander spent most of their time in the place they call “Aura Lea Studios” recording the tunes that played in their heads with some of the most recognized talent in the business.
Time in the studio, meant time to be honest about the work they wanted to share with the fans, meticulously pouring over every melody, every instrument, every vocal, every note. During this time, the happenings at Aura Lea were mysterious, even secretive. And then finally, original and familiar, “The Sessions at Aura Lea” debuted.
“Like all these songs, it stands proudly in the face of eternity itself, defying time to erode their relevance and appeal.” (Raul Watson, MusicUcansee Magazine)
Today, The Adam Fisher Show goes on. A show that’s been honed for 18 years and has traveled from a little place called Verona, North Carolina to the rest of the American South, to the midwest & now across the Atlantic. Most often, you can find Adam Fisher and His Bandoliers in one of the few remaining Honky Tonks in Nashville, Tennessee, living for the music, the tradition, the honesty of it all.