Two years ago, brothers Dave and Greg Fitzpatrick worked together for the first time in years on their hit song "Cardboard Condo." Now, recording as "Fitz" for their first album together, "Out of the Blue," their followup was a lot quicker in coming.
But that's not to say there weren't a couple of speed bumps along the way.
The Bay Roberts brothers were headed to the U.S. to record the new record, "From the Beginning," but illness kept Greg from going.
"We were set to go to Nashville to record this, and at that time (Greg) had to do some surgeries, so I went and done the album in Nashville with a guy named Bob Angelo," said Dave, adding that Angelo played with Tom T. Hall, Chet Atkins, Jo Dee Messina and Suzy Bogguss.
"So he engineered the album with me, and I played all the bass drums and guitars on it. He played steel guitar, Bob did, and he brought in a guy named Rodger Morris who played piano."
Morris is another country veteran, said Dave, having played with Tim McGraw, George Jones and Garth Brooks, among others.
Dave mixed the record and brought it back to Newfoundland, by which time Greg was well enough to participate.
"We got into my studio and got his voice on some of the songs and I remixed some of the tunes here with Greg in my own studio."
Dave says Nashville is "the place to be" to record an album.
"It's the people there. Just working with Chet Atkins' guitar player. It's hard to do that in Newfoundland or Toronto," he said.
Angelo brought 30 years' of experience plus a new style of recording to the studio, and Dave says he learned "the Nashville sound."
"They have a specific way of recording and producing. Some of his suggestions I took and some of them I didn't, because we like to stand our ground on what we believe in as well with our music, you know what I mean?"
Dave said he learned an "awful lot" from Angelo, including what Greg refers to as the "less is more" philosophy - simple, unadorned recording.
"It's something we kind of believe in anyway, but they really believe in it in Nashville," Greg said.
There was also the intangible benefits of recording where so many of their heroes - Willie Nelson, George Jones - have recorded, Dave said, and the possibility of networking with other people in the music industry in the hopes of opening up their songwriting catalogue to major artists.
"So if Garth Brooks wants to take one of our songs, or Tim McGraw, or Faith Hill or whoever, we're off to the races. Once we get one out there, people are going to say, 'Show us your catalogue.' And we've got a big catalogue."
Dave, younger than Greg by 15 years, grew up in the music industry with his older brother, a fixture in the burgeoning Yorkville rock scene in Toronto, who played with some of the biggest names in Canadian rock history, such as Neil Peart and Burton Cummings.
"(Greg's) been at it a long time, and he's got a thousand songs by himself. I've got three or four hundred," said Dave, no rookie to the music business himself, having played with Figgy Duff briefly, with a longer stint in The Fables. "I'll never catch up to Greg with writing. He's got a lot of tunes. But we're pitching our songs for other artists to do."
Not that either of the Fitz brothers figure they'll appeal to the teenybopper crowd.
"He's 60, I'm 45. I don't think we're gonna be the next Britney Spears or anything like that, but if someone does have a hit with one of our songs, we will get a lot more recognition ourselves."
In the meantime, with a new manager to go with the new album, the Fitz brothers hope to land a record deal and possibly take the new album on tour.
But first, it's the record release party in South River July 3 at the Knights of Columbus, together with another of Dave's projects, DaNdA. (See story, page F4.)
"It'll be the first appearance with our live band. We've been three years putting this band together," said Dave.
"I'm hoping we can do a little tour locally before we start going across Canada or down south."
And the Fitz brothers promise there'll be another new record next year.
"This is what we do," said Dave.