Verde Valley News – Local musician Christy Fisher will walk the red carpet on August 6, 2022 at the Sandy Springs Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia for the International Singer-Songwriters Association (ISSA) awards ceremony. Fisher is a finalist for two awards to be presented at the ceremony: Female Album of the Year for her 2021 release Mixed Signals and Female Single of the Year for “I Don’t Want To Love You (But I Do).”
Fisher has lived in Jerome since 1990. She began her musical journey as a teenager with piano lessons. “I wasn’t as interested in playing Beethoven as I was in playing Lennon/McCartney,” she said. “I taught myself the guitar and started writing my own music. I had a little reel to reel player and stayed in my room for hours.
Along with singing and making music, Fisher began creating her own clothes using bedspreads and curtains she purchased from thrift stores. “It was in the 1960s,” she says. “There were no cool clothing stores in my area.” She was living in central Florida at the time, in a place that was a hub for bands touring the big cities. “We had artists like Mitch Ryder, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs coming through town,” Fisher said. “The guys in the bands were asking me where I got my clothes.”
By the age of 18, Fisher was designing clothes for artists like Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Warren Zevon, to name a few. On occasion, she was asked to sing backup vocals for other artists and eventually landed her own recording contract. But Fisher refused to be “wrapped” by the industry, and the record deal fell through.
“The record company wanted to replace me,” Fisher said. “They changed the spelling of my name and added a nickname they thought was more appealing, wanting to call me ‘Krysti Starr’. They tried to change my style and ‘give sex’ to me. I hated the name and refused to wear the dress they wanted me to wear for an appearance on the Merv Griffin Show.The record company tore up the contract.
Fisher continued to run a successful clothing and jewelry business for the next few decades, opening his own stores, including The Fool On The Hill in Jerome and three outlets in Old Town Cottonwood. She used to play music at home, but that took a step back from her other business.
A few years ago Fisher was invited to join the Jerome Ukulele Orchestra and rediscovered her spark for music. She began performing with local legend John Zeigler in his band Mountain Stranded Time and eventually formed her own band, Cattywampus, playing major venues in the Verde Valley. But when Covid hit in 2020, that all came to a screeching halt.
Having rediscovered her love for music, Fisher decided to keep her momentum going during lockdown. She built a recording studio in her home and started doing live broadcasts on the internet. The end result was the release of his new album, Mixed Signals.
“The album was fun to create,” Fisher said. “I was able to work with very talented people.” Fisher laid down basic tracks in his home studio, then brought in sound engineer and musician Mark Gifford from Sedona as co-producer and co-engineer. “We worked from two separate studios,” Fisher said, “bringing players in for live sessions and working remotely with amazing people from other cities.”
Mixed Signals is a collection of original Fisher songs that puts his songwriting skills front and center. His unforgettable hooks and distinctive melodies rooted in rock and American traditions led to the success of several tracks, including the Song of the Year nominee, “I Don’t Want To Love You (But I Do)”.
“This album definitely opened doors,” Fisher said. “It’s such an honor to have reached the top 15 in a world competition. And, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll come back to Jerome with a small statue in my backpack.
The ceremony can be viewed on the ISSA channel on Roku TV starting at 9 a.m. on August 6. Fisher’s performance schedule is available at christyfishermusic.com. Mixed Signals is available to stream on all major platforms including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and iTunes.