1st of April was a pretty great day for music and bad one for my bank account. Robbie Fulks, The Burning Hell, Woodpigeon and Charles Bradley all released new albums. The first three are all very dear and important to me and my feelings towards Charles might soon reach the same level.
Me and Robbie, we go way back. I think I started listening to him in the late nineties, when I heard his album Let’s Kill Saturday Night. I think that was among the first country-flavoured albums I grew into with Wilco, The Jayhawks and the likes. So Robbie was one of my gateway drugs into this thing country/folk thing that has become my biggest addiction. I did lost track of him in the late 00s for a few years, but Robbie’s songs have been With me for the most part of my adult life. His previous album Gone Away Backward in 2013 was the one that got me and Robbie fully back together. Perhaps Robbie doesn’t rock me anymore, but I’ve grown older with him and actually prefer to rest my weary head on the warm shoulder of the gentle sway of these folk tunes.
The new album Upland Stories is now out on Bloodshot Records and continues to the same direction that Gone Away Backward started. I think this might well turn out to be the finest album that he has written. Beautiful and warm folk/bluegrass sounds and wonderfully written stories set in the uplands. It’s both entertaining and deeply moving. It explores the humanity and keeps a warmhearted perspective (somehow even during the times it deals with the fragile and/or unsettling sides of people and their lives). Upland Stories is a great example of the fine art of songwriting. This is the opener Alabama at Night from this magnificent album.