Lowell Fulson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lowell Fulson


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The career of Lowell Fulson exemplifies the evolution of the blues from an indigenous folk music to a popular art form. Born in Tulsa in 1921, Fulson played in an Oklahoma string band in the late 30s. He traveled throughout western Oklahoma and Texas, eventually teaming up with the legendary singer Texas Alexander, whom he accompanied for several years. After World War II he migrated to California, and his music developed a more sophisticated edge. He worked with such musicians as Jay McShann and Lloyd Glenn, and developed a style that owed equal amounts to Kansas City jazz and the new, refined blues being honed by young Californians like Johnny Moore and Charles Brown. Through the years, Fulson's eclecticism has been evident in the range of his hits (from his own soulful "Reconsider Baby" to a funky cover of Jimmy McCracklin's "Tramp"); his guitar style is crisp and thoughtful, featuring the understated musicality of the California veteran and the bluesy sensibility he developed in his youth and never lost. An extremely rare Chicago appearance, not to be missed. Saturday, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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