John Fullbright

John Fullbright
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through song. It makes him—and his fans—happy, and there’s nothing bad about that. Fullbright, there are few greater joys than carving emotion into music, taking a stab at that lofty goal of immortality To be sure, ‘Songs’ has its moments of darkness, tracks born from pain and heartbreak, but for a craftsman like  the finger­picked “Keeping Hope Alive” is a song of resilience through hard times. Know,” which features just voice and Wurlitzer, implores listeners to appreciate what’s right in front of them, and Lives Too Far’ is a raw account of the strain that distance can put on a romantic relationship. “All That You tells still somewhat incredulously, while “When You’re Here” is a somber piano love song, and “The One That “I Didn’t Know” is a song he premiered live at concert hosted by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, a story he  feelings you can have,” he says. once you know you’re headed in the right direction to your own bed and your own home, that’s one of the greatest simple pleasure of heading back to Oklahoma, which he likens to The Odyssey. “When you’re gone for so long, which launched him into a rigorous schedule of international touring. “Going Home” finds him appreciating the The songs also reflect how drastically Fullbright’s life has changed since the release of ‘From The Ground Up,’  and then start building from there. And what we found is that you don’t have to add too much to that.” performance and everything else supports that. I think you just get as much energy and skill as you can into a take, “We tracked a lot of it live, just me and a bass player in a room with a few microphones. The basis is a live “I’m a better performer and writer and musician now, and I wanted a record that would reflect that,” he says.  most honest form. The performances are stark and direct, though, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and harmony, moving through chord progressions far outside the expected confines of traditional folk or Americana. say these are simple songs; Fullbright possesses a keen ear for memorable melody and a unique approach to piano anchor the record, while a minimalist rhythm section weaves in and out throughout the album. That’s not to The arrangements on ‘Songs’ are stripped down to their cores and free of ornamentation. Fullbright’s guitar and  seconds, and that’s kind of a point of pride for me.” “My songwriting is a lot more economical now,” he explains. “I like to say as much as I can in 2 minutes 50  Fullbright inhabits his songs’ narrators completely, his old­soul voice fleshing out complex characters and subtle narratives with a gifted sense of understatement.  you really get your tools out and figure out how to craft something that’s worthwhile.” and it’s important just to document it at the time and come back to it later,” he explains. “That’s the labor, when But just as important to Fullbright as writing is careful editing. “I can write a first verse and a chorus fairly easily,  draw.” with art and identity.’ You can write something that’s going to outlast you, and immortality though song is a big something to be taken pretty damn seriously,’” says Fullbright. “‘This is nothing to do with business, it has to do treats with the utmost respect. “When I discovered Townes Van Zandt, that’s when I went, ‘You know, this is If there’s a recurring motif that jumps out upon first listen to ‘Songs,’ it’s the act of writing, which is one Fullbright  in a community of peers. You don’t feel so alone anymore.” records. One of the most fulfilling things about the last two years is that now I’m surrounded by like­minded people yourself,” he explains. “I didn’t grow up around musicians or like­minded songwriters, but I grew up around “When I started out, I was all by myself in a little town in Oklahoma where whatever you wanted, you just made it  community of songwriters whose work he admires. But for Fullbright, it hasn’t been all the acclaim that means the most to him, but rather his entrance into a  of a star­studded audience [at the GRAMMY pre­tel concert], never in my life would I have imagined that.” and with that outlook, everything else is a perk. The fact that we went to LA and played “Gawd Above” in front “I never came into this with a whole lot of expectations,” says Fullbright. “I just wanted to write really good songs,  placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt. to rest when ‘From The Ground Up’ was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put best live performances, and the album also earned him the ASCAP Foundation’s Harold Adamson Lyric Award. music makes sense in such lofty company.” The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year’s 10 artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new Ground ’ to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self­assured,” while Oklahoman’s remarkable rise. It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, ‘From The That plainspoken approach is part of what’s fueled the young  something good?’ And that’s a bullshit way to look at life,” he laughs. Fullbright. “A writer will say, ‘How long can I stay in this until I get grief, they’ll say, ‘I need to get out of this as fast as I can,’” says “A normal person, if they find themselves in a position of turmoil or  depression, that great art is only born from suffering. notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or track of his new album, ‘Songs.’ It’s a play on the writer’s curse, the “What’s so bad about happy?” John Fullbright sings on the opening 

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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 2

John Fullbright  05/29/2014            
I first saw this guy in Moab at the folk festival last November, seen him twice since. He's a fantastic songwriter and performer. I now own all of his cd's.
John Fullbright  05/23/2014            
Picked up this new album a few weeks ago at a release concert John did in OK. WOW! Fullbright is a hell of a writer and an amazing musician.
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