Lyric video by Nina Stiener. From Wild! Wild! Wild!, out August 10 on Bloodshot.
The thing I love about Robbie Fulks is that he doesn’t try to be alt- or insurgent- or Americana- but instead he is comfortable enough with his deal that he allows himself to be just plain country. I suppose his refusal to play down to the lowest common denominator is alternative to mainstream country but whatever. He’s traditional but he’s not stuck in the past. He just knows what sounds good.
And one thing that sounds good is Linda Gail Lewis.
She’s Jerry Lee Lewis’ little sister and she’s been playing piano and singing since she was a kid. She’s recorded for Sun, toured with her brother, and lived almost as hard as him. Her biography is insane.
Lewis isn’t featured as prominently on “I Just Lived A Country Song” as she is on many of the other songs on Wild! Wild! Wild!. (“Boogie Woogie Country Gal,” for example, features her pounding the keys like the Killer at his most feral). But her harmonies perfectly compliment Fulks’ regretful tale of a misspent life on the road.
I can’t recall the early nineties
These last ten I’d rather not
It’s hard to write a song like this without falling back on tired cliches but Fulks is smart and unpredictable enough to twist them up and keep you guessing. And laughing. Dude is funny.
From Wild! Wild! Wild!, out August 10 on Bloodshot.
I was planning to present some context about the package since it may appear an unusual product (not so unusual if you recall its 50-song precursor, 50-vc. Doberman, back around the turn of the decade) — and when I saw the phrase “leftovers” appear in a Facebook comment, I thought I’d better hurry. These are not leftovers! Good grief. The big majority are songs I wrote between June 2014 and February 2018, then recorded, and that’s the sum of it, wrote and recorded. In that time span, I recorded three other albums and released one, Upland Stories. Four songs from the Upland sessions, the four that seemed least suited to the mood of that record, are included; a couple I wrote for the Linda Gail Lewis collab that’s out in 2 weeks are also included in earlier, variant arrangements and with different players. There are a half-dozen I wrote for Mark Roberts’s play The Last Night of the Jabez Opry — these are in the vein of hard country music circa 1978. There’s one from my scuttled James Agee thing and one from my also-scuttled Flannery O’Connor thing, and though these all have a theatrical provenance they can be enjoyed without any particular explanation. There are a couple covers, which reflect my love for Stan Kenton among others. (I’m always having to explain how I love Stan Kenton, among others.)
The other 33 or 34 songs are plain old songs, songs I tried my best to shepherd with care from spark-conception to sculpted track, and if you like my thing generally then I think you’ll surely like these songs. If you wonder how they compare to a normal release of mine in terms of sound, performance, and composition quality, my guess is that they compare well. I didn’t cut any notable corners production-wise. Most of the tracks come from Kingsize in Chicago and were engineered by John Abbey, and it and he are real good. I didn’t fly in players expressly for these Kingsize sessions, but I did much more remixing than usual…anyway, in terms of per-song expense, it’s really neck-and-neck with a release with a physical format and an outside label and a publicist…so there!
But read the whole thing, because, as I said, dude is funny.