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Foxes and Fossils: The Parking Lot Supergroup

The always discerning Neo has discovered a new non-over-night-sensations. She notesI usually don’t like cover bands. But I’ll make an exception for this one. Here’s their story, which started with a musician and his 15-year-old daughter.”

“This was their first song at their first concert, leading to YouTube fame .”– Neo

GV: Me? I just love it when genuine talent from deep in the American grain comes out of the heartland and dents the decadent and depraved facade of the contemporary music “scene” with music from the land, from the heart… from…  Did I say from the American heartland? Oh yes, I just did.

“Now, the liquor tasted good and the women all were fast
Well, there she goes, my friend, she’ll be rolling down at last” — Gordon Lightfoot

Here’s a group from the parking lot behind the right field of Nowhere Special just socking the standards straight through your heart and nailing them down. How? Maybe because they have real days of pain and loss and longing behind them as well as days of light and laughter and can make that experience so obvious in a song that it cannot be seen at all, but is instead felt and felt deeply if it is felt at all.  It’s a strange quality. Something not of the song but rather a kind of nimbus; a slight shadowing of the song, the persistence of the real.

The older men are the aging versions of the men who dreamed of A Music-Driven Life of fame, adulation,  and fortune… dreamed the American Standard dream of the rock star… Or — if not that fortunate — dreamed of becoming any sort of star in a land besotted with stardom. They failed to achieve that. Failed it many times by their own account. They failed until at last they grew old enough to stop hoping they ever would achieve it. And then, older still,  utterly forget about it.

And then…
…they start to sing with their daughters because why not if you sing in a parking lot?
And then…

“Now the bricks they fall on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb
They all fall there so perfectly
It all seems so well-timed”

It all happens for them– and it all happens for their daughters– and it moves millions of hearts. It is such a mystery that (when you think about it at all) it must be Music given from the hands of Grace. That’s all it can be when you think about how unlikely it all is in the first place.

Grace is given into all their lives. Why? No reason.

And just in time too.

Their back story…

Brian Okamoto, a fan from San Jose, California, said, “You look at that relationship that Tim’s got with his daughter and his high school friends, and you think, ‘isn’t that cool? Wouldn’t it be great to have a dad like that?”

Foxes and Fossils, a homegrown cover band from Smyrna has never released a commercial record. They’ve never gone on tour. Their promotion has occurred — almost accidentally — by word of mouth.

They began 10 years ago with a performance in a pizza parlor and haven’t progressed much from there. A subset of the band — the Fossils — played in a Hapeville parking lot in July, but the full band hasn’t performed in three years.

“I’ve struggled as a musician for 40 years, schlepping equipment in and out of hotels and seedy dives,” said Tim, “and then in my so-called retirement, this happens.”

What happened is Tim’s band became YouTube famous. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” notched a million views by December of 2018 and will probably tip 3 million views by the end of the month [ 4 million in October 2021] , according to the band’s unofficial statistician, John Hazeldene.

In the meantime, the group has regularly released videos of songs recorded during performances at The Twisted Taco (now a hibachi restaurant), at another pizza restaurant and at outdoor festivals. They cover songs from the vocal harmony aisle of the classic rock superstore, by such bands as the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Todd Rundgren…

Brian Okamoto, a fan from San Jose, California, said, “You look at that relationship that Tim’s got with his daughter and his high school friends, and you think, ‘isn’t that cool? Wouldn’t it be great to have a dad like that?”

Other fans include Graham Nash, who emailed Tim to praise the F&F version of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” Todd Rundgren linked to their cover of “We Gotta Get You a Woman” on social media.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn October 6, 2021, 9:02 PM

    I love talent in young people. it’s one of my favorite things. Also, I respect talent in old men. I kinda expect it of them, but nevertheless hold it up as a miracle. Good vids!

  • David Bowen October 6, 2021, 11:09 PM

    Been watching their videos for years; so glad to see them on Neo and AD!
    Give their version of “Strawberry Wine” a try.
    Also “Crazy” (not Willie’s- Gnarls Barkley’s) and anything by Adele and…just go on YT and drift away!

  • Kevin in PA October 7, 2021, 4:21 AM

    “The persistence of the real”.
    Choked back some tears on that G. Lightfoot. I spent a bit of time on the road in my late teens and memories of past have recently been triggered by songs and photos of long ago places and faces, many of whom are now gone.

  • jwm October 7, 2021, 7:06 AM

    I couldn’t make it through the song. I purely hate that tune, along with everything else CSNY did. Nonetheless, what a refreshing take on the song. The girls’ voices ring so much cleaner than the falsettos. The Lightfoot tune made up for Judy Blue Eyes.


  • Jack October 7, 2021, 7:19 AM

    I’ve mentioned it, a few times on AD, that I hold Gord and Joni in reverent awe as the pinnacle of talent that came out of the 60’s and which has endured and is still, among those who discover them, going strong. I know that’s a narrow-ish kind of thing to say but when I toss all of the great ones into my colander and give it a shake, G&J always remain in the bowl, ready to be heard again. Al Stewart is always there too, but his intellect and ability aside, he’s not as well known.

    But you won’t know why I consider them so unless you spend time learning who they were and where they came from and a little about the things that have shaped them and their writing and compositional skills as they matured Both are master writers and performers but Joni is genius and so are her contributions.

    • MIKE GUENTHER October 7, 2021, 7:28 AM

      Al Stewart is the Australian Gordon Lightfoot.

      • Kevin in PA October 7, 2021, 8:29 AM

        Stewart is another underrated talent, here in the U.S.
        Jack, also makes a very good point about the talent and roots of Joni and Gordon, both of whom are Canadians. Though, Jack, I think you really toss out a lot of talent from that era and genre…a little too harsh, but tastes are personal and peculiar to each of us. To each his own.

        • Jack October 7, 2021, 2:56 PM

          I might be tossing a few to the side but not a lot, IMO. When I think of what other individual male singer/songwriter has been around that long and who has been covered as much I tend to draw a blank. Within the world of tune smiths, James Taylor comes close I think but after that I just draw a blank. In any event every person who picks up a guitar wants to cover their work.

          On the female end of things, Joni is so far off the scale that even writers like Carole King are in the shade. Piano is one thing….which Mitchell plays….but Mitchell has the ability to construct or design her own guitar tunings and she has confessed to being able to do it out of thin air. And, after a tuning is established on the open strings of her guitar she says that finding the chords is pretty simple. Then, she is able to put the entire thing into context with lyrics and her vocal phrasing. She uses more varied tunings than any other player I’m aware of and each tuning is designed by her to accompany her wide ranging vocal ability and the subject of her songs. And then, she also paints…another subject altogether.

          Players like Mitchell and acoustic guitar instrumentalist William Ackerman are on an entirely different level of creativity than 99% of all musicians and in all honesty, I’m not taking a thing away from other players. It’s just that WA and JM are blessed and possessed by a creativity that is very rare and difficult to copy.

          • DeNihilist October 7, 2021, 7:22 PM

            Jack, the one who may enter into the sphere you put Gord and Joni into is Leonard Cohen.
            Beyond genius with his word play.

            • TwoDogs October 7, 2021, 9:28 PM

              Nope, sorry. Cohen’s work is pretentious garbage. Every bit of it. I’ve never understood the appeal.

            • Jack October 8, 2021, 2:00 PM

              Oooh, I was hoping you wouldn’t bring him up. He was a strange cat and it’s just my opinion that most of his tunes are promptly forgettable.

              I listened to enough of him to know that he was literally killing my enjoyment of music and other than Suzanne, which tries to make some kind of sense but doesn’t, Bird on a Wire, which Judy Collins made a hit of when no one else could and only because of her voice and Hallelujah, the only version of which I ever liked was the solo guitar rendition by Tim Buckley’s son and which has, since, been played to literal death by every crooner who can whistle. ‘Hellelujah’ only gets played when someone occasionally blurts it out on one of these singing talent shows….all emotion and abstraction fully covered.

              I’m not faulting you for liking Cohen. The thing he did excel at was screwing young and impressionable women who had the time to hang around him and while I don’t consider that especially enlightening, it is one of his greater claims to fame.

    • John P Coggeshall October 7, 2021, 6:07 PM

      Yes…I also love Gord…and Joni…and Fred Neil…and Richie Havens…and Richard and Mimi Farina…

      I think the greatest “pop” song ever recorded (and I have heard thousands…) is Tom Rush singing “Urge for Going”, by Joni…hauntingly beautiful, especially at this time of year

      • Jack October 8, 2021, 2:15 PM

        All of those were good performers but I cannot think of a thing that Neil, Havens or the Farina’s wrote that is still around. In comparison with G&J all of their careers were short term. Same with Tom Rush.

        I really liked Rush early on and his guitar work, on his cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” added a nice change and twist to that song. I think Browne might have written that song for his own Teutonic Titwillow, Christa Paffgen aka Nico who, like so many others who believed their own BS, lived a life of reasonably heavy drug use but fortunately died from brain injury sustained after falling off her bicycle.

        The strength of the work of Gord and Joni is that through the vast changes that have occurred in music since they first appeared, people still love them and cover their songs. Gord’s are pretty easy but Mitchell’s certainly are not. But, I have noticed that a number of contemporary women who did not grow up with Joni are listening and covering her songs and that is nice to see.

  • Sam L. October 7, 2021, 7:43 AM


  • Dirk October 7, 2021, 7:46 AM

    Great wakin up music. Thank you.


  • Jay Solo October 7, 2021, 9:55 AM

    I own their two CDs and they are the cover band other than Leonid and Friends I would be thrilled to see in concert. (L&F is on tour and I saw them a couple weeks ago. F&F has no plans for such a thing yet. Anyway, my thought on seeing this post was something like “welcome to the party pal.”

  • Skorpion October 7, 2021, 11:56 AM

    I’m *surrounded* by these types in the Northern California ‘hood where I reside. Just because you didn’t *Make It* in the vile entertainment-biz, doesn’t mean you don’t have immense talent, or can’t keep performing these classic tunes until they carry you out in a pine box.
    (And just for the record: how many of today’s autotuned, overproduced, self-aggrandizing ditties do you think people will still be playing a half-century from now?)

  • Dave October 8, 2021, 5:13 PM

    I’ve been following them ever since I stumbled across their cover of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” which they crushed. But then, they crush everything they touch. What a great little band.

  • Darwin Conort October 16, 2021, 5:27 PM

    ThankYou all, from wherever you are, making a Musical Dream come true.
    It is an Honor, a pleasure and a totally, out of the Blue Musical Miracle that this has happened.
    I am humbled and grateful.
    Sincerely, Darwin Conort (Fossil)