Foxes and Fossils

As a fan of Foxes & Fossils (F&F) for several years now, I send my condolences for the loss of their bass player, Scott King. I did not know Scott apart from his YouTube performances with mentions of his playing in the comment sections, basically stating, “pocket, pocket, pocket.” Tonight I watched a segment of a Zoom meeting of F&F members and the former band The Mustangs, who describe him as an extraordinary gift-giver, an encourager, and a top-notch bass player that realized a dream before his passing.

Like most, I was first treated to Foxes & Fossils from YouTube’s suggested video algorithm, the song was a cover of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and the venue was a local bar. The video had been languishing on YouTube for a decade with a view count of one million (currently 4.2 million). I was dumbfounded, not only was this the best cover of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” I have ever heard, it is live, and it’s recorded in a bar (Bella’s Pizza Bar And Grill, Smyrna, GA) with the television sets still running the Channel 2 news behind them.

Left to Right: Darwin Conort, Maggie Adams, Tim Purcell, Sammie Purcell, and Scott King.

I watched several other videos from the then-named Tim Purcell channel and expertly recorded music coming from similarly challenged venues, a restaurant parking lot outdoor seating area and a rooftop seating area. Both of these venues had nothing but open air behind the band so getting an empty-sounding recording would be my expectation.

While exploring this rabbit-hole, or fox-hole if you will, I discovered that Maggie Adams and Sammie Purcell were fifteen when they joined the band and since the 2010 posting of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” the girls had gone to college, and other band members had moved to locations beyond a commutable distance. The possibility of getting any new music from the group was questionable at best.

The F&F video kept appearing in my suggested videos, and I have to admit that dozens of those 4.2 million views are mine. The recording question was still nagging me, so on the cusp of 2019, I tracked down an email address and asked about the recordings. After an initial bounce, I did receive a response from Tim, instead of paraphrasing, I am just going to quote him for accuracy.

We record direct outs from our sound console and then fly them into a DAW to mix and then synch with the video. I’m sure the mix I get is better than the live one, but the performances are live. This has been the most satisfying thing I have ever done and comments from folks like you really make me proud. Thanks again for the kind words.

Tim Purcell

With that question answered, I began to think about the larger picture. Here we have Tim Purcell and his friends playing opening dates, bars and weddings all of their lives, collecting equipment and honing their chops. They had given up on the earlier incarnation, The Mustangs, a band that could not find a gig for New Year’s 2010, which is the same year that the “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” cover was posted to YouTube. The real problem was that their featured singers had not yet come of age. Tim had asked his daughter Sammy to help him with a song and the magic happened when Maggie Adams was added to the mix.

With the girls finished with college now (Sammie is attending graduate school), they have been recording again, vocalist Chase Truran has been added and the chords are wonderful.

Chorus: Darwin Conort, Chase Truran, Tim Purcell, Maggie Adams, Sammie Purcell.
Jonny Pike (drums), Scott King (bass), Tim Purcell (keys), Darwin Conort and Toby Ruckert (guitars)
If I’m not mistaken, Scott King plays the mandolin, and the “Hi Brian!” at about 3:30mmss was his shout-out to a mandolin player who had previously sat in with the band.

You can find Foxes & Fossils music on their Homepage

Curiously, F&F does not have a Spotify channel, but for those expecting a podcast, try this…