Fulks returns to roots on "Upland Stories"
Thursday, January 21, 2016
– Robbie Fulks will go back to his roots with his ninth album, "Upland Stories," coming out on April 1 on Bloodshot.
The disc is the follow-up to "Gone Away Backward" in 2013.
The release focuses on Fulks' perspective through literary narrative lenses like James Agee's 1936 trip to Alabama and the resultant novel "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" and tales based in the "upland areas" of Virginia and North Carolina where Fulks grew up. He has lived in Chicago for many years.
Two other songs are based on Agee's trip - "America Is a Hard Religion and "A Miracle."
The dozen-song release also will include "Fare Thee Well, Carolina Gals," a folk song from the perspective of a man who has let life's possibilities pass him by, and in "Never Come Home," in which a sick man returns to spend his last days among an unwelcoming clan of pious, hard-bitten Kentuckians.
Fulks received help from Todd Phillips emerged in the 1970s as bassist in David Grisman's and Tony Rice's classic lineups. Frequent Bill Frisell collaborator Jenny Scheinman played violin, as did Shad Cobb. The two Chicagoans on the record are Flatlanders guitarist Robbie Gjersoe and trad-jazz drummer Alex Hall. Guitarist Fats Kaplin and avant-gardist Wayne Horvitz complete the ensemble.
Songs on the CD are:
1. Alabama at Night
2. Baby Rocked Her Dolly
3. Never Come Home
4. Sarah Jane
5. Auny Peg's New Old Man
7. South Bend Soldiers On
8. America Is a Hard Religion
9. A Miracle
10. Sweet As Sweet Comes
11. Katy Kay
12. Fare Thee Well, Carolina Gals
More news for Robbie Fulks
CD reviews for Robbie Fulks
Twenty years ago, Robbie Fulks became a beloved alt.-country figure by writing modern honky tonk and country songs that rose above the work of many other contemporary traditionalists thanks to a combination of sharp wit and engaging storytelling. In 2013, Fulks gained critical acclaim for "Gone Away Backward," an album that took a deeper dive into history by embracing the traditional Appalachian folk music that proved to be country music's bedrock. That exploration continues with »»»
Gone Away Backward
Robbie Fulks is going backwards in more ways that one - not that that's a negative. For starters, he's back with Bloodshot - the label where he released four of his first six albums, but none since "13 Hillbilly Giants' in 2001. Also evident of his coming home feel is that he may hearken back even further to his time with bluegrass band Special Consensus as Fulks opts for an acoustic, often bluegrass sound, sometimes country or folk on these dozen songs. »»»
With a highly regarded live show, it's about time Robbie Fulks finally put out a record of it. Actually, this is a 2-disc, 23-track record that brings together two performances from last year.
The first disc, recorded in Champaign, Ill., with Fulks' excellent road band, starts with the new and very funny "We're On the Road," which gets things off to a good-natured, goofy start complete with a fake call from Yep Roc's head telling him he's past due for a new release. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers
When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience
Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
When Was the Last Time
Darius Rucker is so darn likeable, he likely gets away with creating subpar music more than most. However, "When Was the Last Time" is a consistently good album, which is as respectable as it is likeable. »»»
Chris Young has one of the best country voices, and it's always a pleasure to hear him sing. But it's disappointing when the title cut sounds more like the groove to a Justin Bieber song than anything truly country. »»»
A Long Way From Your Heart
The name Turnpike Troubadours suggests traveling music. Strap yourself in and get ready for an exhilarating ride. This Oklahoma-based roots-rock unit soars on its fourth release. Not to diminish the strong songwriting from leader Evan Felker, it's the band's pulsating musicianship with an array of electric instruments combined with fiddle and pedal steel that makes the sound so arresting. »»»
The stunning vocal of Travis Meadows on the opening track, "Sideways," brims with honesty, pain and hard-earned wisdom as he offers a blend of confession and advice, stimulated by an experience at an adolescent addiction treatment center. Meadows, like many, is one of those Nashville songwriters ("Riser" for Dierks Bentley and "What We Ain't Got" for Jake Owen), but is finding his own voice relatively late in life. »»»
The Long Awaited Album
When last we visited a new album from Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, 2011's "Rare Bird Alert," we found a cohesive, focused collection of bluegrass; it was an expansive, artistic creation that only benefited the bluegrass community. A subsequent live album (strikingly entitled "Live") presented a continued refinement of this pairing's chemistry. »»»