When: Sun., Jan. 13, 8 p.m. 2013
On “Satan and St. Paul” singer-songwriter John Fullbright croons, “I could use another 20 years / To fix the last 15.” It’s such a great lyric that I can overlook the fact that Fullbright, a native of Bearden, Oklahoma, is just 24 years old. His debut, From the Ground Up (Blue Dirt), not only earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album, it also avoids the strident pretentiousness (both lyrical and musical) that tends to emerge when twentysomethings grapple with American traditions. He evokes the twangy, soulful folk rock of Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and Townes Van Zandt without a lick of self-consciousness, and his songs are smart, self-aware, and scrappily poetic in their plainspokenness. Irked by the selfishness of God’s creations, Fullbright dares to adopt the voice of the Lord on “Gawd Above,” and on “All the Time in the World” he’s a loser aiming low, disguising his failure as modesty. He’s adept at guitar and piano, and his wonderful singing alternates between delicate ballads and raspy, rough-hewn rants in a thick Okie drawl. Tonight Fullbright fronts a quartet with veteran lead guitarist Terry “Buffalo” Ware and drummer Giovanni Carnuccio (who both play on the recording) as well as bassist David Leach. —Peter Margasak Julia Klee opens.