ROBBIE FULKS | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
comment

Few musicians can match Robbie Fulks's command of pop and country idioms, and practically none works so hard to subvert their conventions. On his new double live CD, Revenge! (Yep Roc)--one disc is with his electric band, the other is mostly stripped-down acoustic stuff--his often inscrutable blend of sincerity and mockery feels like a coping strategy: Fulks clearly loves the enduring tropes of classic songcraft, but the repetition and sentimentality that typically accompany them seem to drive him nuts. His killer solo cover of the Cher hit "Believe" is simultaneously a searing critique of its inane lyrics (complete with a hilarious parody of that infamous vocal effect) and a showcase for its ridiculously catchy hooks. And then there's his guitar playing: in the intro to "That's a Good Enough Reason" he flits between hillbilly picking, Derek Bailey free improv, Django Reinhardt Gypsy jazz, John Fahey fingerstyle, and Nashville honky-tonk in the space of about a minute. With Fulks in our backyard it's too easy to take him for granted; a record like this makes a great reminder. Kevin Gordon opens. a 9:30 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $12.

Add a comment