March 25 Music Birthdays: Robbie Fulks
By Four Walls
March 23, 2016 10:18pm CST
Here's the third of the five people I like who have birthdays on March 25. This is probably the most obscure one in the bunch, but my personal favorite. Back in 1996 I heard a song on an "Americana" radio show called "She Took a Lot of Pills and Died." I was amazed because it sounded country (in the world of Billy Ray and Shania). The second time I heard it I listened to the lyrics. I was blown away. Who was this genius? Robbie Fulks. Or, as a mutual friend of ours said, "The mad genius of alt-country." Something always got in the way of me seeing Robbie for 15 years or so (mainly my mom's illness), but I've made up for lost time since. The tower of my "big three" road tripping acts. Quite literally: he's 6'5". His songs are all over the place: hilarious commentary ("Alabama's grand," he sings in "Cigarette State," "the state, not the band"), minutely-detailed story songs ("See the wide, crooked trail down the muddy bank, John, how the broken brush clings to the ground, see the eyes that the light each second fades from and the two twisted arms hanging down," from "Night Accident"), and introspective, sometimes autobiographical tunes ("the day you were born is the day I became a man," from the forthcoming Upland Stories song "Needed"). His writing is all over the map, as is his music: he's praised Hank Williams and Susanna Hoffs in his lyrics and covered Wynn Stewart and Michael Jackson tunes (not on the same album, though ). Fulks hasn't made the "big time," but his "small batch country music" (as he describes it) has a loyal following. His new album (the aforementioned Upland Stories) will be released April 1st, and he'll start promoting it with a tour (which I'll get to see six times in April...happy birthday to me!!!!!) the next day. Happy birthday to Robbie Fulks. He turns 53 on March 25. Here's that song that got my attention way back in 1996.
Robbie Fulks Live at McCabe's 10-21-2012 playing with Robbie is: Robbie Gjersoe
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