Robbie Fulks at Bar None Springfield!
Robbie plays by nobody's rules--except the ones he hears in his head. He is prodigiously talented, with the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian. Besides, his scorn for the music industry makes ours look positively prosaic. But don't let that make you lose sight of THE SONGS.
Widely regarded by those who monitor such things as one of the most gifted songwriters to ever ply the trade, he can sing the kids ditty "Eggs" and Haggard's "Sing a Sad Song" back to back and mean 'em both. While it is true he started off a honky tonk smartass, it quickly became evident that Robbie was a monster talent and some of his early Bloodshot albums have been rightly elevated to the status of "classic" and serve as their own Greatest Hits collections. Seriously.
It is a damning condemnation of our world's musical taste that he has not been elevated to the ranks of the multi-faceted giants of songwriting like Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin and Harlan Howard. He damn well should be. Robbie's cross-genre antics (like us, he has trouble navigating this world of hyphens) would have had him revered in times gone by; such artists used to be coveted, now they confuse. We take it personally that he's not more famous and consider it evidence of our world's moral and aesthetic decline.
Lost in the deserved accolades for being a fabulously unique, clever, and heartfelt writer is the fact that he's also one of the best guitarists around. The chameleon-like tall guy can whip it out in honky-tonk, country, bluegrass, power pop, or whatever strikes his ample whimsy at the time.
Robbie Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. He learned guitar from his dad, banjo from Earl Scruggs and John Hartford records, and ddle (long since laid down in disgrace) on his own. He attended Columbia College in New York City in 1980 and dropped out in 1982 to focus on the Greenwich Village songwriter scene and other ill-advised pursuits.
In the mid-1980s he moved to Chicago and joined Greg Cahills Special Consensus Bluegrass Band, with whom he made one record (Hole in My Heart, Turquoise, 1989) and toured constantly. Since then he has gone on to create a multifarious career in music. He was a staff instructor in guitar and ensemble at Old Town School of Folk Music from 1984 to 1996. He worked on Nashvilles Music Row as a staff songwriter for Songwriters Ink (Joe Dife, Tim McGraw, Ty Herndon) from 1993 to 1998. He has released solo records on the Bloodshot, Geffen, Boondoggle (self), and Yep Roc labels.
Radio loves him too: there's been multiple appearances on WSMs Grand Ole Opry; PRIs Whaddya Know; NPRs Fresh Air, Mountain Stage, and World Cafe; and the syndicated Acoustic Cafe and Laura Ingraham Show. TV: PBSs Austin City Limits; NBCs Today, Late Night with Conan OBrien, and 30 Rock. TV/lm use of his music includes True Blood, My Name Is Earl, Mary Shelleys Frankenhole, Very Bad Things, and Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, and he has voiced or sung campaigns for Budweiser, McDonalds, Nickelodeon, and Applebees. From 2004 to 2008 he hosted an hourlong performance/ interview program for XM satellite radio, Robbies Secret Country. His compositions have been covered by Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s.
Robbies writing on music and life have appeared in GQ, Blender, the Chicago Reader, DaCapo Presss Best Music Writing anthologies for 2001 and 2004, Amplied: Fiction from Leading Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Musicians, and A Guitar and A Pen: Stories by Country Musics Greatest Songwriters. As an instrumentalist, he has accompanied the Irish ddle master Liz Carroll, the distinguished jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman, and the New Orleans pianist Dr. John. As a producer his credits include Touch My Heart: A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck (Sugar Hill, 2004) and Big Thinkin by Dallas Wayne (Hightone, 2000). Theatrical credits include Woody Guthries American Song and Harry Chapins Cottonpatch Gospel. He served twice as judge for the Wineld National Flatpicking Guitar competition. He tours yearlong with various congurations and plays a weekly residency at the Hideout in Chicago.
Impressive, eh? But it wouldn't mean nothing if he couldn't consistently and inventively whip a room into an appreciative froth no matter what he plays, how he plays it and who he plays it with.
If he comes to your town, you need to experience one of the most talented PERFORMERS out there.
Bar None (View)
245 S. 5th St.
Springfield, IL 62701
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|