Category: Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks – South Mouth

ARTIST: Robbie Fulks        southmouth

TITLE: South Mouth

YEAR RELEASED: 1997

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Alt country types now a few

LINEUP: Robbie Fulks, D. Clinton Thompson, Lou Whitney, Ron Gremp, Tom Brumley, Steve Byam

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Wry, sardonic songs from a frustrated country artist who doesn’t hold back about his frustrations with the industry.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Country music used to be as dark as much as it was light, and Fulks is one of those who tries to keep the darkness in the genre. Cuts like “I Told Her Lies” or “Busy Not Crying” look at two sides of a relationship – neither one a good side, and “Cold Statesville Ground” evokes some of the best macabre 60’s cuts.

The backing from the legendary Skeletons (also known as the Morells, and one of the best unknown bar bands from the 80’s and beyond) fits with every style Fulks throws at them – old time country swing, murder ballads, and reg’lar ol’ country the way it used to be.

However, the key track is his diatribe and good-bye to Nashville, “Fuck This Town”. Fulks’ humor, wit, and intelligence probably worked against him in Nashville, but it suits him as a solo artist. This second record really established him as an alt-country vanguard.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He worked for Nashville publishers while living in Chicago, but still the sentiment holds.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: A-: One of the post Uncle Tupelo alt-country stepping stones.

Robbie Fulks – Country Love Songs

ARTIST: Robbie Fulks Country_Love_Songs_Robbie_Fulks
TITLE: Country Love Songs
YEAR RELEASED: 1996
CHART ACTION: Nope
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe if you were an alt-renegade-country fiend…
LINEUP: Robbie Fulks plus session pros, including the great pedal steel man Tom Brumley
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Smart-ass real country singer’s debut makes its mark on the alt-and-renegade country scene.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I don’t think Robbie Fulks likes ‘country’ music – but I know he likes country music.

You can tell by the songs he wrote on his debut. He’s got weepers, songs about Dad (not Mom), tributes to regional breakfast food, scorchers, screamers and tributes. It’s a for real country album; the kind that Buck or Porter would release.

It’s also out of place with Nashville – both in 1996 and today. But I don’t think Fulks minds. He’s iconoclastic with a capital I.

This is a fine smart-ass country record. Sure, not every song is as good as the “Scrapple Song”, but a clever song like “The Buck Starts Here” was deserving of play on country radio. It’s a shame it went over their heads.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Tom Brumley, as you may know, was Buck Owens’ pedal steel player for all of his 60’s hits.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B+: In another time or place, he’d be loved in Nashville as the smart-ass song slinger he is. Alas…