Five full kit drummers. Nine crooning choir ladies. Five dazzling dancers. An orchestra featuring strings and horns. It's all organized by one man: Calgary singer/songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, who celebrated the release of his second disc, This is MBF, with a party at the Grand Theatre Sat., Nov. 3.
"I can play guitar, but I'd never pretend to know how to play the other stuff," states the 21-year-old, also known as MBF. "So I just want people to come out and vibe on their own. I just try to be as trusting as possible and let people do what they want."
Fitzgerald says he is always stoked on collaborating with other artists. His new album features work from select members of The Dudes, Ghosts of Modern Man, and Rum Runner. Fitzgerald has come a long way since recording a little EP in his bedroom about two years ago. Since then he has been furiously pursuing a music career. He won the Calgary Stampede Youth Talent Search in 2007. He also tied for third in the Vibe $100,000 Star Search.
"[The Vibe contest] didn't work out, but all I've wanted to accomplish this year is already happening," explains Fitzgerald.
This is probably due to his tireless efforts promoting his talent in the Calgary music scene. Unlike your ordinary garage band, Fitzgerald has gone to great lengths to bring his music to a wide fan base. At the release party, Fitzgerald gave a copy of his new disc to every ticket holder in the house. Considering he barely broke even on the show, it's puzzling why he would do this.
"I guess I just wanted to make it a good deal," replies Fitzgerald. "Everyone that came got to be part of the experience and take a disc home. Even if it becomes a coaster, we just want the music to be out there."
The new release fuses Motown soul with elements of pop and acoustic guitar. Chances are the album won't become a coaster. His sold-out performance received a standing ovation from nearly 500 people. Fitzgerald has taken his success in stride.
"I don't know why things work out the way they do," muses Fitzgerald. "I just try to be great to the people I've worked with, so in turn I've met a lot of really great people. I think that's the only way I can justify being successful so far."
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald's new EP, This is MBF, is available on iTunes or at your nearest record store.