John Fullbright

Songs (Blue Dirt)

Phases & Stages

John Fullbright

Songs (Blue Dirt)

Songs: not quite a sophomore slump, not quite a triumph. Following up 2012's Grammy-nominated studio debut From the Ground Up with morose, piano-based material, 26-year-old John Fullbright still demonstrates that he's got songwriting down cold. Ice breaker "Happy" feels anything but, while "Until You Were Gone" manages to sound simultaneously full of longing and oddly dispassionate. The more upbeat songs, country rocker "Never Cry Again" and harmonica-fueled shuffle "Going Home," recall the more successful tunes on From the Ground Up, breaking the tension of the songwriter's relentless soul-searching. Admitting Townes Van Zandt as a reference for this album, and with past comparisons to songwriting gods Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, and Mickey Newbury, this young Okie's continuing search for his own voice puts Songs in heady company.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More John Fullbright
Excitable Boy
Excitable Boy
New Okie standard John Fullbright

William Harries Graham, Dec. 5, 2014

More Music Reviews
Austin Music Awards Went Off Without a Hitch in a Show of Communal Strength and Support
Austin Music Awards Went Off Without a Hitch in a Show of Communal Strength and Support
The night everything cancelled in the capitol

Doug Freeman, March 20, 2020

Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

John Fullbright

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle