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: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote
On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day.
The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music
John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia.
But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
"It had been a while since I'd given my fans any new solo music," Pam Tillis explains, when asked about the motivation behind recording her album "Looking for a Feeling." Until recently, Tillis mostly busied herself by recording and touring with... »»»
Sierra Hull would be the first to tell you that releasing a new CD in the teeth of a global pandemic is a challenge. "It's very strange...just adjusting to being home and knowing what that feels like. It's the most I've... »»»
Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear... »»»
Many records are touted as inspiring, but few albums actually live up to that billing by actually striking sentiments worthy of universal appeal. In Jaime Wyatt's case, there's never any doubt, »»»
Tessy Lou Williams
Welcome country traditionalist Tessy Lou Williams who hails from Montana, the daughter of two musicians who emigrated from Nashville to Willow Creek, Mont. (population 210). Her parents toured with their »»»
Songs I Can't Live Without
After a seven-year hiatus, Marshall Chapman is back with "Songs I Can't Live Without," her 14th release and eighth on her own label. The 71-year-old singer-songwriter-author-actress had intended to retire from music »»»
Nine songs in, Sara Evans finally unleashes a country song that she wanted to cover. And it's one of the most copied songs at that - Hank's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." The cut is a decided left turn from the rest »»»
"It gets easier, but it never gets easy," Jason Isbell reminds us on the song "It Gets Easier." It's a simple couplet, utilizing small words, yet it expresses a big truth. Then, with the song's first verse, Isbell - a recovering alcoholic »»»
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2
As its title suggests, this 12-song Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen duet album is a mostly lighthearted affair. Whether the pair is only slightly concerned about unhealthy behaviors with "Habits" or jesting about the world's »»»