Two decades of touring the globe and releasing 13 CDs requires fortitude, tenacity and above all, talent. Australian guitarist Michael Fix's new CD "Time Lines" is a testament to not only his abundance of talent, but also his ability to write and interpret music that resonates and intrigues audiences. With a balanced palate of seven originals and seven covers, Fix has once again recorded a CD with something for everyone and an aplomb that ranks with the finest guitarist on the scene today. His originals "Light At The End Of The Tunnel", "Flight Of The Optimists" and "Sarah Jade" are the perfect showcase for the nuance and verve to which his fans have long been accustomed. He can express moments of exquisite beauty ("Sarah Jade") as well as transport a listener with undulating acoustic vibrato and rhythms ("Light At The End Of The Tunnel"). Often Fix seems to transcend six strings as many of his tunes and interpretations incorporate percussion and syncopated rhythms that create a sonic depth that are akin to 3D in the visual world. Fix's "Makhutswi" and "Canboulay" exemplify this experience as do his renditions of The Chantays' surfer classic "Pipeline" and a merry take on The Shadows' "Foot Tapper". These two covers alone should be vehicle enough to increase Michael Fix's fan base. Of course any YouTube savvy seeker of cool guitar grooves has probably already discovered Fix's acoustiatics from The "William Tell Overture" to Beatle classics and the aforementioned "Pipeline" which has long been a part of his repertoire and a oft requested number at his shows. The real surprise on this CD is Michael Fix's vocal work on Dire Strait's "Water of Love" and David Gates' (Bread) classic "GuitarMan". Who knew he could sing too! "Time Lines" may just be the vehicle to bring Michael Fix out from under the shadow of that other Australian fret Monster, Tommy Emmanuel.
© James Filkins
With ClassicFix, Michael Fix takes a new approach to some beloved classical pieces, like "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring," "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," and "William Tell Overture." On many of these songs, Fix is performing just a solo steel string guitar, and his talent is undeniable. By adding flourishes like percussion, bass, strings, or even a modern bluegrass inflection, as he does in "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring," the songs often go in new, unexpected directions. You'll recognize the timeless melodies, but be impressed by his virtuosity both in his performance and non-traditional interpretation of these tunes. Or check out his intertwining of Tarrega's flamenco classic "Lagrima" with the Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black." It's a new take on a mash-up, and it totally works. These are fun and captivating performances that will appeal both to lovers of the classics, and to those who can appreciate taking classical music a little beyond its comfort zone.
ClassicFix (2009) Michael Fix's resume is replete with credits from his native Australia and many parts of the world, but he is a bit of an unknown stateside. In "Classic Fix," he tackles some touchstones of the classical world. Alternately muscular, fluid, and splashed with flash, Fix's playing is not your music teacher's classical music. In fact, his style is not classical at all, but recalls the playing of his mentor and YouTube duet partner Tommy Emmanuel. Fix swings "Variations on Bourée," sparkles on Monti's "Czardas," and does a Turtle Island number on "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." He fuses Tarrega's "Lagrima" with "Paint It Black" (yes, that Paint It Black) in a wonderful gypsy Spanish mélange. The exquisite closer, "Toccata," reveals that Bach was a shredder. Fix seems to harbor a desire to place these selections into a mainstream pop context. He succeeds in an almost That's Entertainment way. And entertaining it is. © Steve Klingaman
Rewind "...Fix takes us through the past 16 years and 7 solo guitar records, and we get to hear the ways he has bent, slapped, plucked and massaged the 6-string -- good for us... The CD opens with "Gully Breeze", where Emnanuel's style and chops are nicely refined with Fix's own accents. On "Bush Bash", he flatpicks up a storm while keeping a groove moving throughout. "Two Left Feet" wobbles and weaves as a testimony to his own inability to dance. Some fine Chet Atkins / Merle Travis thumb-picking drives "Something's Cooking"... Each song on the disc is played so cleanly, and like Emmanuel, melody always drives the song, never merely chops (though they are in evident display)."
Rewind "...Again Michael Fix made a superb album with the best of the past and 2 new songs played with fantastic skills in a wonderful ambiance."
Web of Dreams "While this atmospheric CD is dreamlike, Australian guitar virtuoso Michael Fix keeps it real with his strong sense of melody and bold attack. Except for one of the best renditions of "Fever" you're ever likely to hear, all the compositions on his sixth release are originals. Some are straightforward jazzy or bluesy numbers, but most create stories in the mind, which is not surprising, as Fix has written music for movies. "Footprints in My Heart" has a '50s noir quality, augmented by Scott Brown's sultry flugelhorn, while the distorted reverb on "4 am" nails the queasy, fuzzy-brained feeling of a sleepless night. Jo Lack's soaring violin is featured on both "Passionfruit," which opens the CD, and the closing title track, which modulates from Fix's tender arpeggios to a hyperactive reel and back again, just like disparate dream associations that somehow cohere and make perfect sense."