Read the Reviews
Mr. Fulks is more than a songwriter. He's a gifted guitarist who has taught for years at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, he's a soulful singer with an expressive honky-tonk tenor, and he's a natural performer. It rings true when he says he's only truly comfortable when he's onstage or when he's totally alone. But what really sets him apart is his songwriting, which is one part artful country, one part artful sendup of country and one part a little of everything else.
Walking to the beat of a different drum, singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks has carved a path between punk iconoclasm and country traditionalism, the Sundowners and Steve Albini, Bloodshot and Geffen, Chicago and Nashville.
Forget his alt tag. Anyone who loves the country music of the '50s, '60s, and '70s will relish Georgia Hard, Robbie Fulks' near masterpiece of homage; you'll swear you left your satellite radio on the classics channel.
Georgia Hard is a sensational songwriter’s record, a swift mix of pathos and wit, where every lyrical and vocal nuance is essential to the bigger picture. It’s his first all-country record since South Mouth, and also his most slickly commercial (reportedly inspired by country music of the ‘70s); like South Mouth, Georgia Hard‘s narratives fluctuate between soberly introspective and humorously irreverent. Like all great country songwriters, Fulks’s trademark is a manipulation of language: by rearranging the meanings of simple phrases, cracking a whiplash of wordplay, and carefully arranging rhymes within rhymes, he effectively demonstrates that no other conceivable structure would serve the song so well. When the dust settles on 2005, you may not be able to find a more intricate and perceptive example of intelligent songwriting.
I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to say Robbie Fulks is the best country artist in Chicago—what bothers me is that the title seems so inadequate....
...a soulful songwriter, a lethal mimic, a comedian of manners and a student of pop...and some of these songs are almost failures...
,,, a labour of love, this is a grown up tribute to an icon - it acknowledges his innocence, his ridiculousness and his tragedy and pain with a thoughtfully sequenced choice of songs.
He sunk [sic] more than $35,000 of his own money into the project, working with top-tier musicians such as mandolin player Sam Bush, banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka, pedal steel great John Hughey, post-punkers Shellac and avant-rock singer Azita. The latter two worked on what is easily the album’s most disturbing song, a noise-collage version of the latter-day Jackson track “Privacy.”
The 14-track album snatches the songs out from under the TMZ microscope to reveal the many dimensions of Jackson’s catalog, from playful to paranoid, and filters them through multiple styles, including country soul, bluegrass, power balladry, and art rock.
An egghead's idiosyncratic survey of the Fulksian aesthetic and output.