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One man, one guitar: Fox student reviews local musician

By Kari Toland

Issue: 1
Date: 10/17/11

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Local artist Jacob Fannin plays at Déjà vu downtown Appleton

Photo by Kari Toland
Local artist Jacob Fannin plays at Déjà vu downtown Appleton

Jacob Fannin is a singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed “Midwestern lyrical magician”.

One of eleven children in a musical family, Jacob began singing as a boy and picked up his first guitar as a freshman in college.

I had the opportunity to go see him live in downtown Appleton at Déjà Vu on Apr. 11, 2011.

His stage presence effortlessly draws you in.

With Jacob and guitar in hand, both did not need to strive to own the stage, they just took it.

Being in the comfort of his second home, Jacob had no problem smiling through songs and conversing with the audience.

Jacob performed a three-hour set of original songs penned by him and a number of refreshing covers, ranging from Billie Jean, to T.I.’s Whatever You Like, back in time for Heard it Through the Grapevine, and of course Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours.

When the crowd thinned toward the end of the evening, he was bold enough to try songs he knew he hadn’t perfected yet, like his attempt at Somewhere over the Rainbow.

He explained to the audience that he knew a few different partial versions of the song and tried to combine them all.

In an interview with Jacob, he compared his musical styling to that of folk pop artist Jason Mraz, using a lot of what he describes as “chucking” and “grooving” on acoustic.

He even cites Eminem as a big influence on his songwriting abilities.

His newest song out Lemonade is a cute story of an old man telling us about his life long relationship in reverse.

The song ends with him meeting his girl for the first time at a lemonade stand.

It’s a well put-together song, though I would not compare it musically to Jason Mraz or lyrically to Eminem.

However, there are a few songs in which Jacob has married music and lyrics creatively, like his song Bulletproof, yes it’s his and not a rendition of La Roux’s Bulletproof.

In the chorus, he manages to fit in meaningful lyrics in a small amount of time, much like Eminem does when he writes.

Jacob has one c.d. out of original songs written and composed by him, which was released in 2007.

The album, Upside Down, is to one ear very slow and melodic.

To another, it is raw and emotional.

Upside Down is crafted with Jacob’s symphonic voice and lyrics to guitar and piano.

The album was step one in launching Jacob’s music career.

It’s been four years since that was released and since then Jacob has written a few other songs, as well as Lemonade and Bulletproof.

However, I don’t hear much of Jacob’s growth as an artist in these songs.

Jacob’s goal now is to work on bridging gaps between artists and musicians in Appleton.

He is passionate about his work, family, and how music has the ability to change lives.

He can be found at jacobfannin.com and his YouTube channel.

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