I really dislike the Grammys as I believe it to be a vapid soul-sucking exercise that rewards shitty music more than quality. And while decent artists sneak in there every year, I would have never thought in a million years that a twenty-something from Woody Guthrie’s hometown would find himself in the fray with his debut. But that’s exactly what happened.
With some artists, I would be worried that they would get caught up in the nonsense. Soon you’d hear that he doing this giant expansive album working with all sorts of random big-name artists to generate exposure. With Fullbright, that thought never even entered my mind. I’ve seen him play a few times and had a short chat with him when I caught his set at Space last year. He struck me as someone so grounded and so fiercely dedicated to his music; that no one was going to dictate what he was going to do.
And with that comes his sophomore release, Songs. Songs is a stripped down affair with Fullbright’s guitar and piano typically the only backing he requires. A rhythm section pops up here & there and backing vocals are almost non-existent. Although when they do, they pack a punch. There is a subtle backing on the third track Keeping Hope Alive that lasts barely two seconds that adds so much to an already beautiful track – an absolute brilliant touch.
Write A Song is a brilliantly written track about making music. At a time when the American public celebrates made for TV pop heroes on crap shows like The Voice, Fullbright’s track comes at a perfect time. It’s as much a stream of concsiousness as it is a song. As I have said a million times and will say a million more, there are plenty of people out there with amazing voices. But the people that can write music that gets into your soul are few and far between. John Fullbright is certainly one of those artists and we are just at the beginning of his career.
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John Fullbright is here