Here’s the premiere of the live acoustic video for Jessica Willis Fisher’s latest single ‘Lucky One’, in which the talented multi-instrumentalist displays her prowess on the fiddle and her excellent, achingly emotional vocal. When her voice lifts and then flies high, fluttering and quivering, it’s truly beautiful; it rises and falls around a memorable melody, which is emphasised in this stripped-back performance. Reminiscent of classic country singers like Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton, Willis Fisher’ impassioned singing is perfect for the genre. The contemplative song cautions against carrying on living as if everything is alright when, in fact, the opposite is true; it’s a theme that feels particularly important when you know a little of Willis Fisher’s story.
Jessica told AUK about the messages in the song: “‘Lucky One’ was born from deep reflection on the fact that although I’ve been through really hard things in my life, I’ve also gotten so much help. I’ve learned that childhood abuse is so rampant yet it’s rare to get any sort of justice, support, or closure. In many ways, I’m one of the lucky ones and I feel a great responsibility to give aid to others. I think it’s easy for us as humans to take our privileges for granted and we each have to ask ourselves how we are going to respond when we see inequality and injustice in the world. This song is a call to do that inner work for ourselves so we can make real change for better in the world around us.”
‘Lucky One’ is taken from the recent album ‘Brand New Day’, which represents a fresh start for the former reality star and is her first new music since leaving the family band The Willis Clan. After impressing on America’s Got Talent, the band starred in their own show, ‘The Willis Family’ for two seasons and Jessica Willis Fisher, the eldest of the twelve children, was the lead singer and fiddle player as well taking on principle song-writing duties. However, her father’s arrest for sexual abuse in 2017, and subsequent revelations about what life in the family band was really like, seemed to be the end of the musical road. Now Willis Fisher returns with an Americana blend of folk, country and bluegrass and some honest stories to tell. It’s taken years to get to this point and it’s clear that part of her recovery from the trauma of her past is Willis Fisher’s musical journey. She explains: “I’ve truly lived every word on this album. That’s why these songs are both so much more vulnerable and empowering for me. If someone truly resonates with them, we both get to feel seen. Together, we know we are not alone as we begin again, each and every day.”
With help from GRAMMY-winning producer Ben Fowler, Willis Fisher has put together a compelling collection of country tunes. The debut solo record certainly feels as though she is re-finding her confidence, reclaiming her voice and channelling her experiences into into something positive, as the album title suggests. She continues: “I had some trepidation going into the studio because I wasn’t sure if I could soak up that time, and do the work I needed to do, and have all of these positive emotions. I was afraid the past was going to get mingled in there. But I felt super lucky that the sessions were really magical. It was a totally new artistic moment and chapter for me. At the end of the day, I remember thinking, ‘Ah, this is how it’s supposed to be.’ Music has been one of the things that’s helped me survive. It is a therapy for me and yet it betrayed me and broke me down at some point. So, coming back, it’s been full circle. I would say the last five or six years have been, step-by-step, about reacquainting myself and getting a whole new lease on my creative life. For me, music is about getting to know myself better. It’s really, really important to me. I feel lucky to be coming back to it.”
Later this year, she will continue to move in the right direction with an appearance at Americanafest, performing a showcase of her new material. In the meantime, check out the new album and this impressive acoustic live recording.