Nathan Fox, who grew up in La Jolla and attended Torrey Pines Elementary School, Muirlands Middle School and La Jolla High, will return to San Diego for the official release of his self-produced album, “I’m All Done,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave.
The album is available digitally, but Fox said he’s yet to have a release party or even perform the songs in San Diego. The concert will help him conclude the long and challenging process of self- producing an album.
Fox said he had music in his life for as long as he can remember. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles where he established a studio to make music. “I wrote music for video games and TV movies, so it was writing music, which is awesome, but wasn’t music for me,” he said.
Admitting this album was “a long time coming,” Fox said he wanted to make music that was “100 percent me.”
He recruited the help of producer Jake Staley to get a six- track album together. While in pre-production — which Fox used wisely, planning as much as possible before paying for musicians and studio time — they heard the Alabama Shakes’ debut album, “Boys and Girls.”
Fox said when he heard it, he could tell it was recorded on analog (reel-to-reel instead of a computer), which he said brings a new energy to the sound. He wanted to do the same thing.
“I was impressed and captivated by it, and it just so happened we were in the market for an engineer and a place to record, and we were thinking we wanted to record what we were working on to reel- to-reel as well,” he said.
So Fox reached out to studio owner Andrija Tokic, who helped record the Alabama Shakes album, and sent him videos of his own performances. Tokic agreed to work with Fox, lending his Nashville studio and asking local musicians to play on the album.
Tokic gathered bassist Dave Roe, who played with Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three, Faith Hill, and John Mellencamp; drummer Fred Eltringham, who played with The Wallflowers, K.D. Lang and The Dixie Chicks; and banjo player Richard Bailey, who played with Al Green, George Jones, Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash.
Because of the impressive talent and the diversity of their projects, Fox said the only way to describe the album is “throwback.” “It throws back to different genres, but it has this older sound,” he said. The title track, for example, has a jazz groove with a bluegrass feel, reminiscent of New Orleans in the 1920s.
The experience of recording the album was amazing for Fox, who said from day one, he was going to do it his way. Part of that has meant not releasing CDs.
“For one, it’s a lot of overhead to get them produced,” he said. “But more importantly, it’s not good for the environment to produce a bunch of material that is a mix between plastic and metal, and that is difficult if not impossible to recycle.
“Also, it’s getting to the point, with modern technology, where people often get the CD, burn it onto their computer and then throw the CD away.”
Fox will play a free show at the House of Blues, but those who want to listen to the album before they go, may stream it for free at