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Robbie Fulks CL Recommends

When: Sat., Feb. 8 2014
Price: $12

The yearly industry circle-jerk known as the Grammys recently concluded, and Robbie Fulks’ name was again nowhere to be seen in the country categories. Why? Well, ya big dummy, it’s because Fulks writes clever, heartfelt country songs that almost never mention the words “truck,” “Friday night” or “whiskey.” For years, though, Fulks’ songs often defined themselves by their anti-Nashville bent, which began to wear thin — yeah, it’s bullshit, but it’s not changing any time soon. But starting with 2005’s Georgia Hard and through last year’s superb, bluegrass-tinged Gone Away Backward, the outcast has concentrated on pure storytelling (other than the ‘Nashville sucks’ one) and what he loved about the music in the first place. The result may be his strongest set of songs yet. From fiddle-and-acoustic Appalachia (“I’ll Trade You Money for Wine”) and Tom T. Hall fare (“Where I Fell”) to bayou blues (“Imogene”), George Jones tear-jerkers (“Guess I Got It Wrong”) and Louvin Brothers cross-harmonies (“Rose of the Summer”), Fulks hits his mark every time. Music Row may not get it, and I’m sure Fulks could use the dough — but, well, it’s their loss more than ours. (John Schacht)


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