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Robbie Fulks

Country Love Songs – 1996 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Dallas Clemmons

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CDs by Robbie Fulks

"Alternative country" has come under some fire lately for its lack of sincerity. Robbie Fulks could, at first listen, be accused of being too facetiousness. His new CD does include some humorous songs, but the humor is more reminiscent of Roger Miller - clever wordplay and satire -than an insincere punk laughing at the country audience.

Not that Fulks is for everyone; clearly the intended audience for "Let's Live Together," which sounds like Carl Smith's "Loose Talk" but critiques Southern conservatism, is one which shares his opinion of "Rotarians" and "backwater Baptists."

More than half the songs, though, are modeled on classic country, with honky tonk ("The Buck Starts Here"- Owens, that is, and "Rock Bottom, Pop. 1"), dark ballads ("Barely Human") and even a bluegrass instrumental. His band includes crack pedal steel, lap steel, banjo and fiddle, and Lou Whitney and D. Clinton Thompson of the Skeletons play bass and electric guitar throughout. This is terrific stuff!