A determined, prolific songwriter, Creed Fisher has generated a lot of music that blends rock, country and bluegrass, and has connected with audiences through a strong emphasis on working folk, love of country, having fun and telling compelling stories. With all that he has achieved in the last few years, it’s probably surprising for many when they find out that this Texan only got started playing music at the ripe old age of 35. That was in 2010.
Going through a divorce, and having time for some deep soul searching brought Creed to the emotional outlet of songwriting, even before learning to play. He bypassed the traditional route of learning other people’s music before creating his own. “I was writing songs before I picked up the guitar,” he explains. “That’s what led me to pick the guitar up.” Buying one in a pawn shop set him on the path to getting his songs out into the wider world.
Creed’s latest album, Whiskey and the Dog, features his take on the traditional country sound, with songs covering the full gamut of emotions. “I started writing from dysfunction and pain,” he says, “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.” Creed’s approach to writing also channels the traditional through his modern point of view, reaching back to a key element that he feels is missing from much of today’s most popular music. “Storytelling. That’s what people are longing for, what’s missing in country.”
Looking back at Creed’s childhood musical influences provides insight into how he can combine a natural affinity for classic country with a hard-rocking sensibility. “On my dad’s side I was listening to Marty Robbins and Don Williams…On my mom’s side I was getting Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath.” When he began creating his own music, Creed says, “I think the Merle Haggard kind of style came easiest to me, the most natural.”
After getting a “late” start (at least in terms of narrow-minded music industry thinking), Creed took a full-on DIY approach to achieve success outside of mainstream avenues. “The odds were against me all along,” he says, “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 advice to anyone with a big dream they’re looking to fulfill or a major challenge they need to overcome? “Keep digging, keep working. When you do that you do things you never thought possible.”
By Dan Walsh