Childhood friends Dave Fitzpatrick and Albert Tom Christopher strengthen a lifelong bond through their musical partnership D and A
Many things tie people together. Childhood nostalgia, sports, mutually shared interests. Music, by all accounts, can bring folks together from near and far, forging ties and reconnecting lost friends unlike much else.
Dave Fitzpatrick of The Fables fame, and childhood friend Albert Tom Christopher, can attest to the power of music more than most.
The pair, who went to school together in Bay Roberts, have a brotherhood that stretches through generations that has only been strengthened through their musical project D and A. With Christopher lending his songwriting talents to instrumental and production wizard Fitzpatrick, the pair released a whopping three albums in 2010, with their fourth studio album, Destination YYT, released this Spring.
“Tom is my buddy for life. Like we grew up together, went to school together, elementary school, but he never really was into music and can’t play a note really. He can’t tap his foot in time,” laughs Fitzpatrick.
Following a health scare, Christopher was inspired to take up songwriting. One track soon became two, then three, and pretty soon he had enough material for several albums and then some.
“He got inspired to start writing lyrics and he ended up writing a slew of lyrics,” Fitzpatrick recalls. “He ended up bringing me 12 or 14 songs. I wrote all the music to it and performed all the music and recorded it and that became our first album which was D and A Vault 1.”
D and A, naturally, is a play on words of the names of the two creative forces of the project. Christopher gushes at the creative prowess of his partner, a longtime staple of Newfoundland and Labrador’s music scene. “He’s absolutely incredible,” he says of Fitzpatrick.
“Sometimes I’ll come up and I’ll give him a set of lyrics and he’ll be sitting down and while he’s reading I’m actually studying him for his reaction and when I see him nod his head and smile it’s like a teacher reading your paper. And then he says okay I know what I’m going to do with this one. And then you know a couple of days later he’ll send me a file say check this out and it just blows me away every single time, the work he does with it. It’s unbelievable. He floors me.”
D and A occupy a hybrid space of genres and sounds, with the early albums serving as more of a rock and roll country feel. Today the work trends more towards traditional and folk, sure to appease to a wide range of listeners.
“You know it’s a different bunch of varieties on there,” Fitzpatrick explains. “There’s Celtic, there’s country, there’s rock there’s even some blues type stuff on there. But it’s all original lyrics and music and yet the last two albums which is the new one coming out and Yes Me Buddy, are more leaning towards traditional.”
As it stands, the passion project is direct from the songwriting to the studio to the finished product for fan consumption and enjoyment. The music has yet to be performed live, but Fitzpatrick isn’t opposed to collecting a host of artists to tackle the songs in concert, or even handing over the tunes to established acts.
For now, the project is only strengthening a bond that has existed between the two for decades.
“We’ve never had an argument in our life. Never. Never in our lifetime. He’s pretty easy to get along with,” says Fitzpatrick. “We all grew up together from the time we were little kids… When the chips are down and we need to be there we’re there you know. So it’s really nice to be working on some music with him for sure and it keeps his mind occupied and something to look forward to. You know he loves to see me put the music to his words and then watch the words come to life in a song.”