Exclusive: Fitzsimmons Signs With Mercer Street

Singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons has signed with Downtown Recordings imprint Mercer Street, Billboard has learned.

The label will release the Illinois-based musician's "The Sparrow and the Crow" on April 7. That set was previously self-released last fall to iTunes, which named it the No. 1 folk album of 2008; it has sold 5,000 downloads in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. He also released home studio records "Goodnight" in 2006 and "Until When We Are Ghosts" in 2005.

Fitzsimmons, featured as a Billboard Underground artist in February 2008, earned further acclaim last year as a regular performer at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles and on the Hotel Cafe tour circuit. His music has been placed in television shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Army Wives."

The singer will tour the U.S. in March through mid-April. He will also be opening for jazz crossover artist Madeleine Peyroux on March 21, 24, 27 and 28.

Fitzsimmons says signing to Mercer Street Records, which is also home to Femi Kuti, Asa and Jesse Harris, is "a huge honor for me and something I'm truly humbled by. This is something that a lot of us dream about and to actually see it happen is a wonderful feeling."

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