It was just two years ago that John Fullbright released his debut studio album, ‘From The Ground Up’ to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self-assured,” while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.”
The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year’s 10 best live performances, and the album also earned him the ASCAP Foundation’s Harold Adamson Lyric Award. If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when ‘From The Ground Up’ was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt.
John Fullbright will perform at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Thursday, February 24 at 7pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of show. Advance tickets are available at wslr.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
“In a short-attention-span world overloaded with sensory stimulation, there aren’t many artists who can stop you in your tracks with a single song, let alone repeat the feat through an entire album…. You can’t move right after hearing this song. That’s how powerful it is.” — Lynne Margolis, American Songwriter
Fullbright inhabits his songs’ narrators completely, his old-soul voice fleshing out complex characters and subtle narratives with a gifted sense of understatement. “My songwriting is a lot more economical now,” he explains. “I like to say as much as I can in 2 minutes 50 seconds, and that’s kind of a point of pride for me.”
The arrangements on his new album ‘Songs’ are stripped down to their cores and free of ornamentation. Fullbright’s guitar and piano anchor the record, while a minimalist rhythm section weaves in and out throughout the album. That’s not to say these are simple songs; Fullbright possesses a keen ear for memorable melody and a unique approach to harmony, moving through chord progressions far outside the expected confines of traditional folk or Americana. The performances are stark and direct, though, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and most honest form.
WSLR/Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center
525 Kumquat Court
Sarasota, FL 34236
Photo by Vicki Farmer.