Fulks returns home
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
– Robbie Fulks is going home. The one-time Bloodshot Records label artist will return to the Chicago-based country roots label with a release due in August.
"Gone Away Backward" drops Aug. 27. The 12-song album - and his first on the label since 2001 - was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, The Breeders) at Electrical Audio in Chicago, and will be available on CD/LP/digital.
"As opposed to this idea that I'm 'coming back to Bloodshot' (the verb 'crawling' has also been muttered behind sleeves) I don't feel like I ever left," said Fulks with his trademark humor. "For sure, I never slammed the door behind me in proud, valedictory defiance. Well, not since 1997 anyhow. Since then, I've co-released two records with them ("Very Best of [me]" in 1999 and "13 Hillbilly Giants" in 2001), doing separate runs on my imprint and theirs. I used their retail distribution network and other resources on "Couples in Trouble" in 2001. I contributed to compilations they put out in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006, and played for their 15th anniversary in 2011. Also in '11 they helped me market my little tribute to Michael Jackson."
"Most people would pick 'Put out a Michael Jackson tribute record' as the best definitive answer to the question, 'How do I make Bloodshot Records go away?' However, Bloodshot Records won't go away. I see them at shows and seminars and parties and, in the case of Rob (part owner Rob Miller), wherever liquor is sold. When I go down to the Bloodshot office to buy records from my catalogue, there they are. Bloodshot. One reason I see Nan and Rob with some frequency is that we live in the same general area. Chicago is a big place, but the country music community is quite small. When you exclude style-hopping working stiffs who occasionally slap on Stetsons,and the usual corporately polished radio-imitation nonsense, there's maybe 10 of us. No, there's 9 - Kelly [Hogan] went to Wisconsin. So fate has really thrown us into the same cramped cauldron. Not a bad place to be at all. At this point, I think we're kind of impressed, with each other and ourselves, that we're still in the game; the smart money 20 years ago was on our being wards of the state by now."
The disc features Mike Bub (banjo, bass fiddle, vocals), Robbie Gjersoe (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Jenny Scheinman (fiddle) and Ron Spears (bass fiddle, mandolin, vocals).
Songs on the CD are:
I'll Trade You Money for Wine
Where I Fell
Long I Ride
That's Where I'm From
When You Get to the Bottom
Snake Chapman's Tune
Sometimes the Grass is Really Greener
Guess I Got It Wrong
The Many Disguises of God
Rose of the Summer
Fulks, 50, released 1 album on Geffen ("Let's Kill Saturday Night" in 1998) and three on Yep Roc.
More news for Robbie Fulks
CD reviews for Robbie Fulks
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. »»»
Robbie Fulks' reputation as an insurgent might provide an ironic clash to this record's commercial sound, if the sound wasn't a 30-year throwback. The singer who once penned "Fuck This Town," appears to have reconsidered Music City, and poured himself into a truly fine set of country songs. From the tight bluegrass harmonies and Sam Bush's mandolin trimmings on the opener, to the String Machine ballad "Leave it to a Loser," Fulks connects with the heart and soul of Nashville's mid-'70s commercial country sound. »»»
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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well
When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room
Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room.
The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky...... »»»
Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it.... »»»
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists. »»»
Sometimes it's all too evident. You hear an artist for the first time and you know he or she is destined to etch their imprint. That's the case with David Ramirez, whose new album "Fables" is one that plucks at the heartstrings and creates an impression that continues to reverberate long after the music finally fades away. »»»
Kip Moore's sophomore release has been a long time in coming - 3 1/2 years - a surprise considering how well he did with his debut, "Up All Night," and its big hits ("Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money"). Moore has said he spent time expanding his sound - and he surely has done that - although two failed singles doubtlessly didn't help. »»»
Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony. »»»
Kill the Lights
When Luke Bryan announces, "I've got that music for your ear" during the single "Kick the Dust Up," listeners should know right off this is not a collection of sounds for every ear. It's targeted toward the young and reckless set instead, where consequences don't seem to matter. There's no better example of this loose approach than the revenge sex expressed through a duet with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild on "Home Alone Tonight,"... »»»
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»