Digney Fignus
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"I love this! I put it on the air when it was still cold from being in the mailbag."  
Tim Schaefer, WKZE, Sharon, CT

"Got Digney Fignus today, what a great CD, I could add the whole album..."
Larry Timko, Clear Channel Worldwide, WCBG, Port Charlotte FL

 

SILVER CIRCLES REVIEWS May11

Figtone Music, Last Planet on the Left

Like good wine, Dig has mellowed with age: his great voice is a little deeper now and maybe wiser and a little more authoritative, but just as expressive as always; he does weary, bitter, and affectionate especially well. This CD is alt/country with a bit of rock and reggae mixed in and all tunes are written by Dig Fig himself. The opening cut, “High Heeled Shoes,” with its cool harp and fiddle, has a real barnyard feel. “Someday” and the title song, “Last Planet on the Left,” with their great lap steel, takes it back home to Nashville. The ska in “Boom-Ba-Da-Da-Da Boom” is an uptempo delight, and the country blues piano in “Why Work?” is pure bar room. “She Should Have Known” and “The Reverend’s Daughter” are C&W weepers and “Crossed the Line” is great country/rock and may be the hit of the CD. The last cut, “Four Horsemen” is almost spiritual in its mood and delivery. This Dave Minehan-engineered project sounds better and better song after song. Mellencamp meets Buffet.

By: A.J. Wachtel



Digney Fignus, Last Planet on the Left

Digney Fignus is a Boston based singer and songwriter. He played guitar with the punk band called the Spikes and performed for underground loft shows. This eventually led Fignus to run “Streets,” one of the first punk nightclubs in Boston.

The big break in Fignus’ career arrived when he won the MTV basement tapes with his song and video of “The Girl with the Curious Hand.” The next step was a release on Columbia Records that Fignus co-produced with Leroy Radcliff. Further success found Fignus when he won the WZLX Boston anthem contest with the critically acclaimed song “Boston Town.” Since then, Fignus has been busy as a celebrity judge on a local Boston television show and busy planning his latest release.

Two of his prior releases, Trouble on the Levee and Talk of the Town comprised a “Cajun Opera” that told the story of Johnnie Boudreaux and his adventures on the river. He recorded these with Dave Mattacks, whom he met at the National Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine. The interesting thing about most of Fignus’ songs is his ability to tell a story and have an engaging song at the same time. Last Planet on the Left is a bit of a departure from the Cajun feel of his last two albums as tracks like “She Should Have Known” indicates. It is infectious and at times thought provoking. On another side of the musical spectrum, fans of Jimmy Buffett will enjoy “Boom-Ba Da-Da-Da.” Digney Fignus is a talented performer with a sound that can range from punk, Cajun, country and even roots rock, depending on what mood he is striving for in any given song. His ability to shift gears and tell a compelling story while he is giving you visual cues with song and sensation is simply put, truly artful.

Last Planet on the Left is quirky, thought-provoking, and an engaging roller coaster ride of sound.

By: Dana Wright- Muzikreviews.com Contributor



1794 Meetinghouse Presents... Digney Fignus

Digney Fignus is a Boston based singer/songwriter and producer. His latest CD, LAST PLANET ON THE LEFT (April 2011) recieved national and international airplay spending a month in the TOP 40 on the national Americana Chart and reaching #6 on the International Roots/Rock Chart.

Digney arrived on the music scene playing guitar and singing in a three-piece boston punk band call the SPIKES. Scoring on local radio with songs like Air Raid and Summer Vacation. The SPIKES performed for underground loft shows that eventually led Digney to run on of the first "punk" night clubs in Boston, "Streets." Digney's big break came in when he won the MTV basement tapes with his hit song and video The Girl with the Curious Hand. Digney's shows are high-energy full throttle fun that feature contagious songs you'll be singing the next day!

By: 1794 Meetinghouse



Digney Fignus

The best boston musician

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By: John Jones

Read more here.



Digney Fignus Visits the Last Planet on the Left

What is it about the end of the street? The combination of mystery and the challenging tease of darkness. Though on the surface the house that marks the end is just another home, unassuming, four walls, roof, etc. Through the door, though, things are not always the same. The edge of the wilderness allows for a little more excitement bordering the norm. On his latest album effort, ‘Last Planet on the Left’, Digney Fignus takes full advantage of the benefits of all the fun out there on the edge.

Digney Fignus is a man who knows no musical limits. What others take as the end of the line Digney sees as opportunity. As he points out on the title track, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. The song takes off into the universe as the narrator space travels along a determined beat as piano and guitar riffs mingle with bouncy chords and a theremin swoop and swirl of sound. ‘Last Planet on the Left’ uses Roots music as the soundtrack to its galaxy. Sonically, the album follows suit with Digney’s two previous efforts, ‘Trouble on the Levee’ (2006) and ‘Talk of the Town’ (2008). Once beyond the sound, the story lines find Digney’s pen mining life, love and the pursuit that move both of those themes along, foregoing the life of Johnnie Boudreaux chronicled in his two previous releases. Happily, the songs match the former siblings in inherent joy that are as much a part of a Digney Fignus song as chords and a beat.

‘Last Planet on the Left’ reaches inside and touches you, lighting with warmth that moves from the inside out. Whether the musical mood moves along with a soft pedaled stride (“The Reverend’s Daughter”), slows down to a string driven reverie (“She Should Have Known”) or let’s lose with a sky-high kick (“High-Heeled Shoes”), the songs move with a smile and a sly wink. Digney Fignus is a happy guy; it shows in his music and his delivery. “Someday” sits on a river bank and watches the water run by, it is a world of memories that play across an inner mind in real time. As a pounding drum beat heralds its arrival, “Crossed the Line” barrels in and takes no prisoners, never letting up on its drive or its message. An island breeze blows in, carrying “Boom Ba Da Da Boom” along in its wake, the song bends and twists, bare feet taps adding to the use of rhythm that supports the track. The rhythms stay on board for “Why Work”, as the path through the jungle is traded for the bump and sway of a country road as Digney reminds us what is really important, “I don’t care what some people say, I know that there’s a way to be happy each day. do what you love, want what you do, don’t let nobody make a fool of you”

As “Last Planet on the Left’ rides off into the sunset of a bright, sunny day, night time handclaps and beats, locked in harmonies and fire fueled fiddles take charge, accompanied by “Four Horsemen”. And leading the pack of songs with a pied pipers control, you can spot the top hat on the head of Mr. Digney Fignus. His website holds more on the man and his music.



boston globe

From 'Boston Town' to the Big Easy

Former new waver Digney Fignus is back with a new album. 
(photo: David Kamerman/Globe Staff)

September 5, 2008  LEXINGTON - The folks at FEMA might want to check with Digney Fignus the next time they're tracking another hurricane approaching New Orleans. Fignus, a onetime major-label new waver from Boston who has utterly reinvented himself as a roots-music storyteller, was rehearsing material for his first album of a projected three-record Big Easy song cycle when Katrina hit in 2005. 

This week, just as Hurricane Gustav was making landfall, Fignus was gearing up for a record-release party to celebrate "Talk of the Town," his second album of songs about the fictitious bayou scoundrel Johnnie Boudreaux. Fignus plays Wednesday at Scullers. 

For all the authenticity of the performer's steady-rolling, two-stepping songs about voodoo queens, riverboat grifters, and Basin Street prowlers, it's strange but true that Fignus has never been to New Orleans. 

"Why screw things up by going?" he says with a smile, sitting in the front room of his girlfriend's sunny home here. It's the same town where the singer grew up in his parents' "little G.I. house" as Bobby Brown, progeny of a long line of working-class journeymen. 

"My dad was a bus driver for the MTA," says Fignus. "His dad drove for the Boston Elevated, and his dad was a train worker in England." 

That lineage might help explain the singer's far-flung imagination. After falling in with Boston's post-punk scene in the late 1970s, he chose himself an alter ego. 

"I was hanging out with all these whacked-out artists, doing crazy stuff," he recalls. "Everyone was changing their names." 

Looking up his name in Billboard's musicians' directory, he was dismayed to discover a whole page of Bobby Browns. So he put a twist on one of his own song lyrics - "dig the fig" - and created a fanciful moniker suitable for a Roman emperor.

As Digney Fignus, he flared up in 1984 with the song "The Girl With the Curious Hand," scoring a surprise hit on MTV's "Basement Tapes" with an alluring video. That led to a short-lived contract with Columbia Records. 

Coming at the height of a record-industry push for Boston bands after the breakthrough of 'Til Tuesday, Fignus's self-titled debut featured production help from Leroy Radcliffe (Modern Lovers, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters) and knockout back-up singing by the late Vicki Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around"). But the record came out alongside another, slightly more pressing Columbia release - the superstar famine-relief collaboration "We Are the World." Tossed out without a lifeline from the label, the "Digney Fignus" album sank quietly. 

"It's the typical rock 'n' roll story," says Fignus. "I was screwed by everyone, broke, trying to make ends meet, the band dissolves. It was a real 'Spinal Tap' story." 

Sitting on the edge of a cushioned armchair, T-shirt sleeves rolled up, a bottle of ginger beer on the floor between his snakeskin boots, Fignus looks much the same as he did more than two decades ago on MTV. A small hoop earring dangles from his left ear. He declines to give his age. "Let's just say I'm not gonna make the Mouseketeers this year," he jokes. 

After souring on the music business, Fignus began writing more songs on acoustic guitar, starting his own "Tuesday Night Music Club" with mandolinist Chris Leadbetter. In 1996 he poked his head out of hiding when he accepted disc jockey Charles Laquidara's challenge to write a new local anthem. Fignus's countrified "Boston Town" emerged as the winner, prompting a congratulatory phone call from Mayor Tom Menino. 

He and Leadbetter spent the next several years kicking around various folk festivals. The Boudreaux albums, self-released on the Figtone Music label, began to take shape in 2004, when Fignus met Marblehead-based drummer Dave Mattacks at a festival in Bangor, Maine. Impressed by Mattacks's appearance with another group, Fignus asked whether he had done any recording."Right, mate, once in a while," said the unassuming drummer, who in fact was an early member of the British electric-folk pioneers Fairport Convention and has recorded with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, among many others. 

With contributions from more than a dozen musicians, 2006's "Trouble on the Levee" told the story of two-timing Johnnie (a man "too good-lookin' for his own good") and his narrow escape from the wrath of his moonshine-running father-in-law. As a tuneful raconteur, Fignus channeled such Crescent City originals as Randy Newman and Dr. John (with whom he shared a stage at Lowell's Summer Music Series two years ago), stepping nimbly from Cajun and country-jazz to French Quarter bon-temps-roulez. 

"I love that beat," says Fignus, who sang in the choir of a Congregational church and found rock 'n' roll after puberty, when a buddy got a drum kit and encouraged him to pick up the bass. He's drawn, he says, to the community created by traditional music: "To see those people on the dance floor, doing the two-step, little kids and couples in their 80s - what more could you ask?"Though he hasn't been there yet, he's hoping to take his Boudreaux songs to the city that inspired them: "I would love to be adopted by New Orleans," Fignus says. 

In the meantime, he's laying in cases of food. No, he's not expecting a hurricane. They're promotional items named for songs from his new album - "No Worry for the Berry" jam, "Party Down in Hell" hot sauce. 

"The big joke," he says, "is that we'll make our money in food products." 

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

By James Sullivan Globe Correspondent 

 

phoenix

Trouble on the Levee | Figtone 

10/24/2006 1:02:51 PM

Fignus emerged on the Boston scene in the ’90s as an accomplished pop-punk songwriter. In 1984, his “Girl with the Curious Hand” won MTV’s “Basement Tapes” competition and led to a major-label deal. Now, with this indie release, he’s rebuilt himself as a roots musician, riding roughshod on an easy-to-digest but sophisticated blend of blues, folk, Cajun, and old-time music with a rock-and-roll heart. The 12 songs, which tell the story of a protagonist whose life is tossed by a Louisiana flood, were in the works well before Katrina. 

Fignus’s clear-toned, flexible voice puts his story of loss, faith, and hope across with ease, and his ensemble’s playing is always dead on — precise, spare, yet loose enough to serve the backcountry spirit that the lyrics evoke. The central cut is “Trouble on the Levee,” where the rising water becomes a metaphor for life’s pains. But by the end of the disc — after we’ve had doses of Cajun swing and some barrelhouse boogie — Fignus’s Johnnie Boudreaux is on the road to personal redemption through love, sweet, love.

Digney Fignus | “Steppin’ Out” benefit for Dimock Community Health Center at Boston Sheraton Hotel, 39 Dalton St, Boston | November 4 | 617.442.8800 x 1006

By: TED DROZDOWSKI

 

nepm

Digney Fignus - Trouble on the Levee

Recorded and mixed by Andre Kolarevic at Boston Audio Group and John Bono at Newbury Sound Mastered by Toby Mountain at Northeastern Digital Recording, Inc.

Like any good entertainer, Digney Fignus knows to lead with sex and murder and does so with first track "Boudreaux," a story-song that leaves the listener following along with the narrative of the lyrics just as closely as with the thunk-bump one-two swing and strum of the backing music.

Digney Fignus cavorts and romps his way through the 12 tracks on Trouble on the Levee. He's aided and abetted by 14 friends on mandolins, trombones, accordions, and all other manners of instruments that are plucked, squeezed, or tapped. His strong bayou accent comes off as a mix between a Cajun Johnny Cash and an adult Disney character that Brer Rabbit might have hung out with off the set.

The songs and sounds on Trouble are so infectious that the band quickly grows to include the listener. The strong folk grooves on this record make it easy to be swept up in the sepia-toned river along with the other travelers on board for this trip. Fignus himself sits up front at the helm, holding the wheel and tipping his hat to the trawlers dangling rods off the starboard bow.

Digney Fignus is perhaps not suitable music for your high-pressure evening commute, but it does serve as a window into a hazy, warm-colored world of swamps, storytellers, and shufflin' swang, as Farmer Fran might say. (Figtone Music)

C. D. DiGuardia

 

roots music

ROOTS MUSIC REPORT

CD: Trouble on the Levee, Label: Figtone Music
Reviewed by Brenda Barbee - RMR staff reviewer

Digney Fignus fans are in for a treat with his new CD “Trouble on the Levee”. If you are not presently a Fignus fan, you most likely will be after listening to his newest release. The Boston based singer/songwriter has teamed up with some great musicians and has produced a truly great CD.
And what a novel idea. You actually get a novel – a story book about the life and times of Johnnie Boudreaux. Each track conveys a scintillating episode, a testament to Digney’s imaginative songwriting talent. The really cool part is that these entertaining stories are set to such great up tempo music. The lively music is perfect to get you in an upbeat mood.
To hear this CD, you would never guess   Digney is based in the Northeast. He sounds like he was born, bred and entrenched in bayou country, adding the authenticity of his excellent work. He has a “cajunesque” sound but it is uniquely Digney Fignus and it is uniquely top quality. Couple all this with strong vocals and some awesome musicianship and you have got a real winner of a CD.

 

88.1FM WYCE

Grand Rapids, Michigan
DIGNEY FIGNUS
Album:  Trouble on the Levee, Label: Figtone, Genre: Folk
Date Entered: February 15, 2006 

This is a Concept CD that takes place back in 1927 {the first time the Levee's broke} and flooded the Crescent City. It tells the story of Johnnie Boudreaux and how a man "too good lookin' for his own good" could live himself to death and still manage to laugh at his own funeral.

This CD is pure acoustic magic from a man who in the 1980's led the Punk band the Spikes. His vocals & story telling abilities fall somewhere between Marc Cohn and John Fogerty, but with a name like Digney he remains an original. 

Since Digney Fignus has reinvented himself in 2006 I think he could be considered one of the best new artists to watch for this year.

Reviewed By: Gregg Saur

 

Metronome

Doug’s Top 5 for April 2006

~ DIGNEY FIGNUS, TROUBLE ON THE LEVEE, 12-SONG CD

Well known for his MTV video hit “Girl With The Curious Hand” and song of the same name, Digney Fignus returns with yet another refreshingly different chapter to his musical career with his latest album Trouble on The Levee.

Fignus states that this “Cajun Opera” composed about a man named Johnnie Boudreaux, was borne in the summer of 2004 after meeting drummer Dave Mattacks. By the following May the recording was complete. The story is about a fellow “too good looking for his own good” and the adventures he encounters on the road of life.

Of course the music is sterling as Fignus’ studio band featuring Chris Leadbetter on mandolin, slide guitar, rhythm guitar and vocals, Dave Mattacks on drums, Wolf Ginandes on bass, Tom West on piano, Ian Kennedy on violin and Russell Jewell on trombone along with Katrin Roush & Gayla Morgan on backing vocals, Doug Dube on accordion & B3, Greg Tower on lead guitar, Jeff Casper on drums, Russell Keys & Brandon Pritchard on bass, and Bruce Katz on piano, develop an authentic Louisiana-bayou feel and groove for Fignus’ stellar vocal offerings.

With a well written and recorded offering like Trouble On The Levee, Digney Fignus will have no problem eclipsing the accolades he gained with "The Girl With The Curious Hand," and should be a prime candidate for a Boston Music Award nomination. Outstanding.

Douglas Sloan