First time here? Let me introduce myself.
Hi, I'm Robbie Fulks and this is my website. I play and write music, mostly country of one stripe or another. I think you knew that if you came here, but if you're unfamiliar, click below to hear and see examples of my style. Otherwise click around as you please and let the magic that is me enfeeble your defenses.
Check out some songs
|(I Love) Nickels and Dimes|
|Mad At A Girl|
|Countrier Than Thou|
Here's a cool performance of "Cigarette State" from Youtube.
I'm seeing Gone Away Backward pop up on some year-end best lists, which is always nice, but it's especially gratifying (and, honestly, surprising) to see it on the Rolling Stone list of best country records of 2013. Not just because of RS's prominence and prestige, though there's that; what especially made my day was getting put in the "country" hamper. As you know if you check in here from time to time, I insist that what I do is country music, despite also insisting on the freedom to flavor it with any available flavor, and I also think that it's much healthier overall for both producers and consumers of music (forgive the somewhat artificial distinction) to have guys like me jostling next to guys like Keith Urban in the imaginary bin. That approach declines to recognize marketing muscle and sales in favor of musical/cultural kinship. It helps direct folks to smaller voices, which is especially needed in today's Babel of independent micro-acts. And it stands to reason, if you'll excuse reason and faith metaphorically mingling in one sentence, that the country church is a stronger joint when congregants who lack fame and extensive business support are allowed in. Music has to be a business, the way we live now, but to behave as though it's primarily that is to submit voluntarily to a tedious fantasy. By the way, Rolling Stone is officially forgiven for the brickbats it heaved at my deathless 1998 work, Let's Kill Saturday Night (currently $224,000 from breakeven according to Universal accountants, and out of print).
Hi all, my performance for "Late Call" is being broadcast this Thursday night, or technically Friday morning. Set your DVRs and get some rest.
We close out the 2013 Monday night residency with a mostly-Christmas-themed, all-secular band show, with Alex Hall, Nora O'Connor, Robbie Gjersoe, Beau Sample, and yrs truly. Expect nods to Merv Griffin (thanks, Steve Darnall, for the excellent pop odd-obscurities Christmas CD series) and the Davis Sisters, salted with some Robbie-Nora duets, tunes form my records, and improvisations.
Mike from Internetlandia has written asking if I might post some of the sources of Don's and my Hideout set of tunes, and someone at the bar after we were done that night asked the same. Certainly!
Here's what I remember we played for sure (we were working from a no-particular-order catchall list that I have with me now):
My Sugar Is So Refined: I've been on a bit of a Nat King Cole trio jag for the last month. His version of this incredible set of lyrics is best, though Johnny Mercer's (I thought he was the lyricist until this very moment; I see it's Sylvia Dee) is great too -- more broadly comic.
Meet Me At No Special Place: another NKC number, with audacious changes that the melody feels a little theorized into. Don showed me this one the week of the show, and I listened to some other versions besides Cole's, partly to see how vocalists were navigating the bridge. Mose Allison has a natural-feeling, petulant take on youtube.
Sugartree Stomp: Red Rector's version, from his creepy low-fi record with Bill Clifton Are You From Dixie?, piqued my curiosity about this tune, and Noam Pikelny's collection of Kenny Baker tunes this year finally motivated me to get Baker's Master Fiddler off itunes. As in a lot of Kenny's compositions, there are a number of quirky little twists in the note-by-note navigation of the head that are buried under a simple easy-playing exterior.
We'll Have a New Home in the Morning, and Cottage For Sale: Willard Robison songs; please buy Matt Munisteri's explosively creative master class in Robisoniana, Still Runnin' Round in the Wilderness, before this sentence ends!
Seasons of My Heart: a George Jones standard, which my friend Linda Gail Lewis also covered as a teenager with her brother Jerry Lee...and which countless others, notably Del McCoury, have covered as well.
God Put A Rainbow in the Clouds, and I'm Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar: the Delmore Brothers, who are probably second only to the Carter Family as a source of folk-country standards.
Over The Hills To The Poorhouse: Flatt and Scruggs.
New Orleans: Hoagy Carmichael.
Before I Met You: I think that Red Rector and Fred Smith's version put Don in mind of singing this one. I don't know who did it first. Anyone?
I know we did four or five more, but that's all I recall. Thanks for the interest.
We ring in the holy season with the immaculately named Jesus Christ Trio, which is myself, Diane Christiansen, and her husband Steve Dawson singing and playing all sorts of songs about Jesus. (This year we're expanding the palette ever so slightly beyond the R&B and hillbilly we've done in past years.)