William Fitzsimmons w/ Stuart Smith

October 7th, 2022 6:30pm   Stage 2


William Fitzsimmons


You can piece together the life of William Fitzsimmons with the songs he chose to record for Covers, Vol. 1 & 2. For the Illinois-based singer, songwriter, and producer, some tunes recollect joyful moments at home as a kid, and others recall his high school days. A handful of tracks address heartbreak head-on without apology, while a few reflect his inclination to embrace youthful wonder and creativity. No matter what, his voice carries these words straight from the heart.

"I just wanted to do songs that meant a lot to me for varying reasons," he says. "I share some of the songs with other people. Some of the songs remind me of my childhood. Some of the songs are low-key messages to individuals from my past—and they're not necessarily positive. Some of the songs are just pure joy. Ultimately, they are all songs I love and respect from artists I think are incredible."

Stuart Smith


War Horse came to fruition in 2018 after leaving ten years as a minister, working with several local and prominent musicians, and his brother Ben Smith manning the production booth. Born out of love, pain, anger, and strength from his last 6 years back in his home of Central Illinois; the songs of War Horse cover Smith's broad musical landscape of Americana. His band brings the songs to life with vivid and virtuosic instrumentation for a uniquely individual live experience. Road tested and played for over a year, many of the tracks on this new effort have been put together in an effortless mix to keep the listener engaged in each story that unfolds. "[Musically] it's a mixture of a lot of things," Smith recently told his hometown newspaper, "It's folk, it's country, it's rock n roll, jazz. I used to be a pastor so there is some gospel influence." Whether he's enriching the spirit or digging into the lessons of a bad relationship, Smith's depth as a songwriter has brought him full circle on an effort that is all his own. -Benjamin Cox, WEAI Radio