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Because Robbie Fulks is awesome and because Georgia Hard is the best country album of this millennium.
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I live in Chicago, and have seen Robbie play dozens of times. In fact, he and his band played for three solid hours at my best friend’s wedding. He is a brilliant songwriter, great singer in the high and lonesome style, and an incredibly talented songwriter. Thanks for bringing some much-deserved attention to a fantastic musician. Here’s another taste of his music from a now years-long Monday night residency at the Hideout, an indie music club in Chicago:
Sorry, that should have been “incredibly talented guitarist.”
I’m a huge Fulks fan. Best country album of the millenium might be something of an overstatement (to say the least) but Robbie is great (and always a joy to see live – his version of Cher’s Believe, with homemade AutoTunes sounds, is always grat)
“grat” of course, should have been “great”
Agree with the overstatement comment (of course, I don’t really listen to much country apart from what I hear on satellite radio, so there may be nothing else out there). Also, I’m not sure I would select the song Erik chose either. I really like the title song and the first song on the album. And then there’s this:
There is no overstatement. I challenge anyone to come up with a better country album from the 2000s.
But the title song is extremely awesome as well.
Jamey Johnson’s The Guitar Song, Vince Gill’s These Days, Marty Stuart’s Soul’s Chapel to name three off the top of my head. Plus several records by
Buddy Miller, Patty Loveless, Moot Davis and Shelby Lynne
He can’t have heard Cut N Shoot by Gurf Morlix or The Majestic Silver Strings by Buddy Miller.
I would (and will) give either of those a listen.
Also, All I Intended to Be by Emmylou Harris.
I know a good ENT guy if you need to get those ears looked at.
I saw him when he opened for Ben Folds Five in the late 90s, and my group was impressed.
But he doesn’t sound nearly enough like an American Idol contestant from rural Tennessee covering unreleased Warrant songs to be successful on country radio nowadays.
I have been a fan and have followed Robbie’s music for 15+ years and can say honestly that he may be the best songwriter and entertainer out there in the past 20 years. I understand that there are a lot of other great musicians, however Robbie needs to get his respect as well and I’m happy to see someone recognizes his talents. I would say his cd “South Mouth” should be considered and his best cd or maybe “Country Love Songs”.
Love Robie Fulks:
“Parallel bars, one at my feet, one on the opposite side of the street
Where two hearts that just can’t meet hide ’til the heartache’s gone
We had words, we let fly, he took the low road and so did I
Straight downtown, and now here we are, working it out in parallel bars.”
Maybe I’m being a jerk, but the arrangement is so offputting (I hate soft strings behind songs like this) that I just can’t listen very far.
I wasn’t aware of him before (CW is not my usual cup of tea), but it’s a good voice and I’ll check out some other songs. I hope he has different arrangers in his stable, though.
He acknowledged that he was intentionally going for that 70′s countrypolitan style on the Georgia Hard record.
As someone noted above, if you like your country a little more raw, check out on one of his first two albums (Country Love Songs or South Mouth, both excellent).
I’m going to write a post soon about how the high production levels of 70s country, which this song is emulating and respecting, is actually a completely defensible choice. See also a lot of George Jones songs.
I’m willing consider other points of view, but I’ve just never, ever liked that sound.
I’ll try some of the other albums brewman suggested, as I definitely prefer all kinds of pop music more on the raw side. Even though I am actually a string player, for my taste few pop songs in any genre are improved by a string section (OK, I’ll make an exception for the string quartet in Eleanor Rigby).
Add to that Moonlight Mile and Street Hassle. If you want to hear a whole album by someone who knows how to creatively use a string section, check out Van Morrison’s It’s Too Late To Stop Now. Otherwise, it too often seems like layering on strings to pop or country songs is a sign of lazy and unimaginative production. And let me tell you youngsters that is one more reason why the disco years were pure hell to live through.
Well that’s enough ranting from Grandpa for now, time for a little rest.
Oh, while I never met George Jones, I used to give music lessons to one of his nieces. Odd to hear her talking about “Uncle George and Aunt Tammy” and realize who she was talking about.
I had the same reaction as TBP. I guess I equate the sound with the beginning of the truly horrible “crossover” acts that ruined country music for me. But I’ll give a listen to brewmn’s suggestions.
I agree. There are so many songs that are marred by background singers and strings. That’s why all decent people love Buck Owens.
However, if Robbie does it, it is presumed to be awesome until I hear otherwise.
I think the one-song proof anyone needs is “Took a Lot of Pills and Died.” Phenomenal.
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