ARTIST: Robbie Fulks
TITLE: South Mouth
YEAR RELEASED: 1997
CHART ACTION: 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.