Tony and the Nevilles
I first knew Tony Fitzpatrick as a poet, specifically for Bum Town, his book-length ode to his beloved hometown of Chicago. It wasn't until after I read (and loved) that book that I realized Fitzpatrick is even better known as a visual artist, specializing in collage pieces that draw heavily on Chicago history and also incorporate his own vast collection of matchbook covers and other ephemera.
I follow Tony on Facebook and noticed his recent status update in which he mentioned that he happened to be working (that is, creating an artwork) while cranking the Neville Brothers at high volume. I slowly began to consider how much Tony's work reminded me of New Orleans folk art and then, prompted by that status update, I fetched from my shelf the Nevilles' Yellow Moon, a terrific album that I hadn't listened to in quite a while. As I glanced at the lovely cover art (shown above), I was struck by how much it resembled Tony's work. So I checked the liner notes, and there it was: "Cover Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick." One of my favorite artists, and a favorite album, intimately and unexpectedly linked. Quite the serendipitous moment.