John Fishell New Single ‘Daisy Chains’

There isn’t a lot of ground in the music world that John Fishell hasn’t covered. An experienced recording engineer, Fishell worked on jazz albums from such luminaries as Jimmy Cobb, Jon Hendricks, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette. His contributions to Dave Liebman’s 2002 Big Band album Beyond the Line helped it score a Grammy nomination in the “Best Instrumental Arrangement” category. He’s taught as a full-time college professor at such institutions as Ball State University, the University of Colorado at Denver, and Middle Tennessee State University, as well as founding a successful program at Purdue University-Fort Wayne. However, Fishell left his teaching career behind in 2021, opting to at last focus on his original music.

I believe it has proven to be a shrewd move. His self-confidence has rewarded him with a successful recent rock single entitled “Carolina California”. The track spent fifteen-plus weeks on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart, reaching #38, and earned distinction as the highest-ranked unsigned artist on the chart. His new single “Daisy Chain” promises similar, if not greater, success.

It blends rock sensibilities with a smattering of electronic instrumentation. The mix imbues “Daisy Chains” with a welcome modern edge while still remaining true to its riff-heavy rock roots. Fishell isn’t interested in writing and recording strictly retro fare. The earlier “Carolina California” and this new single boast a contemporary edge and possess an individualistic flavor rather than leaning on cookie-cutter cliches or craven imitation.

Another of the song’s strengths is Fishell’s rugged yet musical voice. It brings added heft to the proceedings without ever striking an overwrought note. I never hear his vocal presence trying to dominate the performance but, instead, enhancing the overall presentation. “Daisy Chains” is an unified effort rather than relying on one or two particular highlights to carry the day. His classical training and jazz influences never announce themselves outright during the recording, but undoubtedly inform his aesthetic.

The song’s nearly four-minute duration is an ideal length. Fishell’s unerring instincts for never biting off any more than he can chew is the mark of an experienced songwriting craftsman. However, craftsmanship and inspiration can exist side by side. Fishell’s songwriting acumen never neuters the inherent energy percolating throughout “Daisy Chains”. The combination of intelligence and physicality defining Fishell’s work sets it apart from the pack.

It will likely continue defining his future work. It couldn’t have been easy to walk away from the relative security of an university teaching post and bet on yourself as a musician. I don’t know if I could have done it. However, John Fishell proves that such assertive moves can pay off, if not financially, at least with personal artistic satisfaction that supersedes any dollar amount. His new single, “Daisy Chains”, is an impactful release that bodes well for his future endeavors. He has the necessary talent and room for growth to continue on this path for many years.