Robbie Fulks & friends | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Robbie Fulks & friends Recommended All Ages Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., May 3, 7 p.m. 2009

Robbie Fulks is usually pretty careful when it comes to putting albums together, both in sequencing and tune selection, and that has historically meant that a bunch of his songs—among them some undeniable gems—end up unreleased. But the Internet really does change everything: I kinda doubt the 50 songs that make up the download-only collection 50-Vc. Doberman (available in full only at are even everything he wrote or cut last year, but it’s still an embarrassment of riches. Fulks is a voracious student of American pop and country songcraft, and there’s hardly a form he’s afraid to try, so Doberman includes bluegrass, murder ballads, R & B, power pop, commercial country, and turn-of-the-century pop, among other genres and genre hybrids. He’s the first to admit that some of these experiments are better than others—in his typically entertaining liner notes, he recommends against buying “Just Too Easy to Cry” a la carte, calling it the “golden turkey” of the bunch. But even the duds have some redeeming qualities, and the best songs are very, very good. For this weekend’s release concerts his killer band includes guitarist Robbie Gjersoe, banjoist Danny Barnes, violinist Jenny Scheinman, and singer Nora O’Connor. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20, $18 members, $16 seniors and children

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