50-Vc. Doberman

50-Vc. Doberman

The complete package includes all fifty songs you see below at a large discount.

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50-Vc. Doberman was recorded by Jay O'Rourke at Jay's Garage in Chicago, except for "Mama's Pearl," recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago.

Angela (You Know You Want to)

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric and acoustic guitars and vocal - robbie fulks
organ - scott ligon
backing vocals - steve dawson and ingrid graudins

A young man sets out on an impulsive drive from his home in the metropolitan New York area to Chicago to kidnap his ex-girlfriend from her now-boyfriend, preferably with her consent; and a minor pop classic comes kicking and screaming (or maybe pulsing and keening) into our fallen world.

Arthur Koestler's Eyes

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar - grant tye
acoustic guitar, vocal, backing vocals - robbie fulks
B3 organ - chris neville
bodhran - jackie moran

The only person I can think of who overlaps the magisteria of astronomy, ambition, rape, and the Manhattan conservative intelligentsia is Arthur Koestler. I tried out a technique in a few of these 50 songs that I don't think I've tried before, manumitting my lyrics ever so slightly from the bondage of logical structure and sequence, permitting them to flit impressionistically hither and yon (even while trying to maintain some clear sense of forward development in the song overall). I can't say exactly what drew me to that method, or whether it was fruitful in the final outcome, but it added a new aspect of enjoyment to the writing -- wondering along with the listener what might happen next.

Bad on Both Sides

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drumkit - dan massey
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar - grant tye
vocal and electric guitar - robbie fulks
B3 - chris neville
backing vocal - anna fermin

Someone I was reading said his town was so mean that it was bad on both sides of the tracks. The part of life that holds the most interest is that which comes after the part addressed by pop music, when everyday people are compelled to understand that a heart full of passion, ordinary self-discipline, and all the best intentions are no hedge against disappointment, disaster, and death.

Because You Can

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
organ - scott ligon
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
vocal - nora o'connor

I was listening to Levon Helm's Dirt Farmer record and goofing with Levon-y verbal phrases when I fell into working on this. I did try to cover my tracks by not singing it too much like him. But once Nora comes in, who's listening to me?

Blaze Of Ugly

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drumkit and percussion - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
piano, organ and electric guitar - scott ligon
acoustic guitar, electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
backing vocals - robbie fulks and k.c. mcdonough
strings- jubal fulks
trumpet - b.j. cord

It's lucky John Abbey knew something about salsa bass playing, or the last section might've really stunk. Lucky that B.J. Cord promptly swings into action when asked to "solo for four minutes over an A chord." And how very nice that Gerald, John, and Scott would spend three-and-a-half hours of a wintry Tuesday afternoon gamely sprinting through one section after another (5:00PM: "Okay, now this is the George Harrison bit...") without so much as a snide remark or an official AFM filing. "Blaze of Ugly" is a sort of point-of-view tune from the Goths on "Amazing Race." (Recycle, reuse....)

Caked Joy Rag

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guitars - robbie fulks and robbie gjersoe

The title is a tip of the hat to Chris Miller, whose 1971 National Lampoon story was about masturbation, whereas bluegrass flatpicking is about, um, art. If Robbie Gjersoe had heard the song in advance and got to spend some time with it, surely he'd have worked out a hotter and more "put-together" solo than this...yet I do love hearing him flail a bit as well!

Charles Thomas Samuels

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar and keyboards - scott ligon
vocal and electric guitar - robbie fulks
strings - jubal fulks
accordion - john williams
backing vocals - k.c. mcdonough and ingrid graudins

Shortly after Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni died (6-30-07), I was reading a book called Encountering Directors. The writer, Charles Thomas Samuels, had drummed up some grant money and gone around the world to meet one by one with a sizable cohort of the best living film directors: Hitchcock, Lean, Visconti, Fellini, Clair, Olmi, Bresson, and many others, including the big two aforementioned. Samuels had a style that comes off on paper as probing, cerebral, sometimes presumptuous, and not infrequently hairsplitting, going beyond challenging questions into pointed arguments over "implausible" bits of dialogue and sound effects and the worth of this or that film. In person his style seems to come off worse yet, and while many of his subjects project politeness and good humor, some give back, and Fellini in particular explodes into amazing invective, in a drama that drags on for twenty-some tense pages. That Mr. Samuels -- who killed himself not long after -- was very bright and exceptionally committed to his craft seems to have hindered his capacity for animal enjoyment, and to have led him into a cul-de-sac of carping one-upsmanship. Or am I over-analyzing? There is no basis for most of the biographical and character details in this song, but as it says, they virtually had to be invented: as far as the Internet knows, this once-promising young writer never lived!

Check Out The Career!

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar (first solo) and piano - scott ligon
electric guitar (second solo), vocal, and backing vocals - robbie fulks

This one evolved from a high-school career day talk I gave in 2006, also memorialized as an essay in the country-troubadour prose collection "A Guitar and A Pen." The piano riffs are as scattered and infrequent as they are because Scott was high that night and not really feeling it, continuously. I like both our guitar solos.

Church In The Wildwood

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vocal and guitar - robbie fulks
vocal and banjo - danny barnes

A profession of love for: the banjo, sitting and picking, sacred music, the Carter Family.

Coastal Girls

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drumkit - gerald dowd
electric guitar, bass, keyboards - scott ligon
electric guitar solo - grant tye
vocal, acoustic guitar, Casio samples - robbie fulks
backing vocals - k.c. mcdonough

A lot of pretty obvious reference points here, but see if you can spot the Paul Young semi-quote. This was nothing but fun from first draft to last mix, and who knew it would turn out this well.

Common Law Cabin

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar - grant tye
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
fiddle - jubal fulks
backing vocals - amy warren, ingrid graudins,
mike fredrickson, and k.c. mcdonough

We actually stopped mid-mix to listen to "Thunder Road" and "Ghost Riders In The Sky" for guidance. Just to let you know that we weren't all going, "Jesus Christ, mix number forty-six -- hustle, people!"

Fake Cake

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar - grant tye
vocal - robbie fulks

A sitcom pilot regarding a bigamous Wisconsin man may not have wowed them at Fox but it left me with about twenty zippy little themes such as this. The vocal (your correspondent through an SM57 and thence into a tube-powered cigarette lighter) was standing in for a trumpet, which never arrived.

Goodbye, Virginia

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bass fiddle - john abbey
vocal and guitar - robbie fulks
vocal - kelly hogan
mandolin and fiddle - don stiernberg

Whatever conviction I have given this comes from my love for Dudley Connell's singing and for the state of Virginia, particularly the part of the Blue Ridge Mountains around Waynesboro and Charlottesville where I used to live as a boy (but those Technicolor hues continue up all the way to Washington and southwest toward Johnson City).

Guess I Got It Wrong (50 Vc.)

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acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie gjersoe
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks

One of the best of the fifty, in my opinion, in terms of overall effect of the recorded performance. I frequently seem to find myself headed to the airport in Houston or Dallas at 6PM Sunday morning, bleary and a little melancholy, and I guess that's why I put this sad fellow in that place.

I Say, Hang Him

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass fiddle - john abbey
guitar - grant tye
vocal and bouzouki - robbie fulks
cello - fred lonberg-holm
accordion - john williams
piano - chris neville

I think Chekhov and John O'Hara have a common strain in their fiercely mordant portrayal of working-class types. Maybe it's a symptom of both men's resilience against idealism and even -- it's not much of an exaggeration to say -- hope.

I'll Stay Married To You

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - k.c. mcdonough
electric guitar and clavinet - scott ligon
vocal and electric guitar- robbie fulks
backing vocals - scott ligon and k.c. mcdonough

My band and I played a couple middle-age weddings in 2007. Why not, I thought, have a song for people who wait until almost too late? Those couples seem more laid-back and realistic than many of their younger counterparts. Still, as this song implies, I wonder whether taking the pledge after many years of dodging grown-up commitment requires a bigger leap of faith and, concomitantly, some stricter language ("stay married").

I'll Trade You Money For Wine (50 Vc.)

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vocal and dobro - robbie fulks
acoustic guitar - robbie gjersoe

You know these guys, the streetcorner seers and prophesiers and lesser loudmouths; the stereotype might be of a Southerner, but this narrator is in Nevada, which feels not incorrect to me. This is one I would like to hear Danny Barnes sing.

I've Got To Know Her

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
trumpet - b.j. cord
trombone - raphael crawford
sax - nate lepine
organ and piano - chris neville

This is written from the point of view of someone like my oldest son, someone ready to leave the land of carnal adventure and enter the hallowed kingdom of the contractually monogamous. Time to trade in the Biblical knowing of every woman for the actual knowing of one.

Imogene (50 Vc.)

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guitar and vocal - robbie fulks

Robbie Gjersoe (who was going to play on this until we failed to locate a second part or instrument that really worked) said "Dave Van Ronk" right away on hearing this song, and I think that nails it. Robbie and I both listened a lot to "Sunday Street" when it came out on Philo Records. The versions of "Jesus Met The Woman At The Well" and "Would You Like To Swing On A Star," among others, were daringly simple, and not in the way of a genius prodigy forcing himself into a limited vocabulary, but in the way of a player who was honestly content to let a quality of simple relaxation serve as his total bag of effects. A friend of mine, a longtime new Yorker, took some lessons with Dave, and during one lesson got to see him casually naked, just out of the shower; that certainly feels at one with his music. I had brief encounters with Dave at the Speakeasy and Folk City of the early 1980s, and he was nice enough to encourage my playing and performing. Anyway, this song is a composite, in that its female character goes back and forth between a couple of different actual women. And the Somalian is a kind of racial composite: in the summer of 1981 I worked in a kitchen with two non-talkers, one African-American and one Vietnamese.

Irreplaceable

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
organ - scott ligon
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
banjo - danny barnes
backing vocals - steve dawson and ingrid graudins

The Tim McGraw-Nelly duet was a model for something that, if only on grounds of musical curiosity, should be happening more -- a dedicated tilling of the common land shared by the blackest of the black music and the whitest of the white. The plot might've been wider in the Ray Charles days, back when the integration thing was in. Keith Gattis's use of the banjo in a world-weary soft-rock groove made me think of using it here. The backing by Steve Dawson and Ingrid Graudins is very good, and in some ways the karaoke version that engineer O'Rourke made me, erasing me and lifting them, is the better one.

It Was Love (That Ruined Me)

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass fiddle - john abbey
electric guitar - grant tye
vocal and electric guitar - robbie fulks
organ - scott ligon
backing vocals - gerald mcclendon, scott ligon, gerald dowd, grant tye

Here is one of those songs that, as my wife said, doesn't end at where it seems to be headed. Some film that Penelope Spheeris shot of Ry Cooder singing with Cliff Givens and some others was the inspiration.

It's About The Money

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar - scott ligon
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
backing vocals - k.c. mcdonough and robbie fulks

O'Rourke remarked during mix, "He needs to do an NRBQ tribute record where he plays every instrument." Scott Ligon plays only the guitar on this one, sounding more like Big Al than Rich Little sounds like Nixon. My favorite part of his soloing is the time-busting one-note stutter toward the end. I won't bore the public anymore with boasts of my illimitable fealty to the 'Q.

Jessica's Lullabye

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piano - chris neville
bass fiddle - john abbey
strings - jubal fulks
vocal - robbie fulks

A satirist whose stuff I consumed as a teenager was recently revealed to have been sexually abusing his 6-year-old daughter at the time, or so she alleged in a tell-all book. The 1970s, which were fun at the time, are starting to look in retrospect like an open season for secular devil-worship and illogic.

Just Too Easy To Cry

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drumkit - dan massey
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
organ - pat brennan
wurlitzer - k.c. mcdonough
electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
vocal - nora o'connor

Here's one that struck us all pretty positively on first playback, but simply got worse and worse the more it was worked on (which was plenty). I would definitely not buy this a la carte -- it's the true golden turkey of the fifty-song Doberman.

Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In

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bass fiddle - john abbey
vocal and acoustic guitar - robbie fulks
vocal - kelly hogan
fiddle - don stiernberg

A fellow in New York was putting together a record to benefit Iraq war veterans, and I contributed this song, which I learned from the recording by Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb. From what I've gathered, most of the songs turned in were compassionate or subtly pacifistic, but this one, being a country song, is understated and pragmatic. I actually approve of this guitar picking -- for once I don't sound like I'm putting everything I have into it.

Little Brother

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
keyboard - chris neville
electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
electric guitar - grant tye
backing vocals - k.c. mcdonough, anna fermin, mike fredrickson
trumpet - b.j. cord
trombone - raphael crawford
sax - nate lepine

Chris Miller's memoir, in which he goes away to Dartmouth and leaves his brother Wilson in the care of madmen a/k/a "the family," inspired this little story. There are a couple embedded references to the world of Miller, like Roslyn, and the dumb "hand" pun. The middle section is a fantasy guitar-hero section; I tried to put wild applause in it as well, but it didn't read right over the noise of the guitar and other instruments. That would have made it funnier, yes? Of course this song is sad as well.

Look At Her Cry

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
wurlitzer - chris neville
vocal, elka, and baritone guitar - robbie fulks
electric guitar - grant tye
roland dark-matter generator - jay o'rourke

For some reason I had been reading a lot of big-name writers' depictions of lynching and other white-on-black violence around the same time. William Faulkner, Jean Toomer, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and so on. I was aware that revisiting the 1920s South musically in the present-day ran a variety of risks, but I pressed on, heedless, going through several drafts and a few completely different songs before beginning this one. It at once seemed like the right direction -- telling about a racial crime not through an omniscient narrator or an innocent victim (that really came out idiotic!) but in the voice of a potential malefactor, on the verge of making a choice, conflicted between what he registers as duty and some tiny, almost incoherent spark of enlightened skepticism. After that protracted start-up, the words and story actually came pretty fast. the Hope it holds your attention. I do think that melodrama and noir this and Gothic that, though probably too comfortable a mode by now, reflect an actuality in the life and mind of the American South.

Mama's Pearl

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drumkit, turntable and vocal - gerald dowd
bass guitar and vocal - lorne rall
electric guitar and vocal - grant tye
piano, organ, and vocal - joe terry
clavinet - pat brennan
vocal - robbie fulks

This J5 cover is one of my favorites from my rumored Michael Jackson tribute album (circa 2000). Dig Lorne Rall as Marlon!

Moses On The Mountain

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bodhran and bass drum - jackie moran
fiddle - anne harris
vocal - robbie fulks

The story of Moses and Aaron journeying with the Israelites to Sinai is fateful, exposing the irreconcilability of Judaism with idol-worship. Just one more thing for which partisans of civilization have the Jews to thank. Thanks, Jews! Also this Bible story is good because the simple single-minded old country dude emerges the exalted hero over his opportunistic, brainy, city-slicker brother. Nice try, Jews!

My Promises

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drumkit, bass guitar - scott ligon
electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
strings - jubal fulks
horn - lauren varley

I always thought there was something about this song...still not sure what, though. Some discerning souls unqualifiedly dislike it. I think when you write songs, hundreds and hundreds of them, you naturally recycle a lot of themes and tones, so that when you strike one that is new to you and has no blatant precedent, you automatically value the song, and perhaps may overvalue it. Two things drove this tune's composition. One was John Cheever's stories. The other was socializing with a mangy old gospel singer at a wedding, a skinny bug-eyed guy with an abandoned first family and a smooth-talking style and a car trunk full of cassettes with his original Jesus music.

Never Been Hit

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drumkit and tenor vocal - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric and baritone guitars - grant tye
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks

A musician friend, angry at another musician for making sexual advances at his female friend, suggested that in his native Texas the concealed-carry law worked to prevent civilized norms from being chewed to shreds by garden-variety satyrs. Made me mentally enumerate all the skinny-chested sexual miscreants of my acquaintance who lacked for nothing except a good hitting; which promptly set me on the path to this Buford Pusser redneck fantasy tale.

Nick And Don, The Song

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - k.c. mcdonough
electric guitar and piano - scott ligon
baritone guitar and vocal - robbie fulks

My son and father-in-law were teamed for the twelfth season of the CBS series "The Amazing Race," in which contestants dash around the planet finding clues and taking on challenges until the last one left standing is awarded a million bucks. This Carl Perkins-y thing refers breezily to their teammates and experiences as if everyone in the world knows what the hell I'm discussing...just smile and play along.

No Girls Allowed

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - k.c. mcdonough
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
electric guitar - grant tye
steel guitar - brian wilkie
other voices - grant tye, jay o'rourke

Man! I feel like a dude.

On The Corner Of I Love & You

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suitcase - gerald dowd
archtop guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
organ - scott ligon

High-fidelity note: To listen to this properly, put your hands side by side on alternating sides of your head and flutter spasmodically.

Pluto

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar and vocal - mike fredrickson
electric guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
keyboards - chris neville

Found not to be the biggest object in its neighborhood, poor little Pluto was cast off in 2006 and made into a "dwarf planet." Sentimental pop-song treatments of astronomical news are all too rare, and rarer still is any conceivable use for the "Tuvan monk" patch on Chris Neville's computer keyboard, so please treasure this song.

Schoolteacher!

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
mellotron - chris neville
piano - k.c. mcdonough
fiddle - anne harris
vocal - robbie fulks

This is a shameless appropriation of characters, emotions, and scenic detail from Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away. Elsewhere I've mentioned things going wrong in tracking songs, but here things went unaccountably right, in that a song that was slowly assembled improvisationally and piece by piece sounds, to my ears, like a natural and thought-out group performance.

Stolen

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percussion - gerald dowd
dobro and vocal - robbie fulks
electric guitar - grant tye
accordion - john williams

We recorded this at the Black Orchid for my "Revenge!" CD, and it got a nice response from the audience and felt good, but the tape testified that we were all high. I liked the tune and wanted to come back to it, though I'm not sure we/I nailed it here. Kind of a strange triumvirate -- Chris Collingwood, Ian MacEwan, and Emily Saliers -- arches jealously over "Stolen."

That Child Is Gone

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass fiddle - john abbey
electric guitar - grant tye
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
cello - fred lonberg-holm
accordion - john williams
organ - chris neville

A revenge song with a heavy and (I hope) purposeful momentum. This was a gang performance with a vocal in the room, and there was so much bleed that the idea came to me to have a one-track mix -- just the vocal with the various picked-up sounds of the other instruments behind it. Just the kind of idea proudly professional music engineers love. OK, so we didn't totally do it that way in the end -- but 90% we did.

That's Where I'm From (50 Vc.)

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar and fiddle - john rice
vocal and acoustic guitar - robbie fulks
steel guitar - brian wilkie

More on the tragically irrevocable past; in this song, the narrator's success in life has necessarily alienated him from his upbringing and driven a wedge between his kids' values and his own. A few of the details, like the goat, are cribbed from life, but most of them are imaginary or highly embellished.

The Sun of Your Soul

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keyboards - scott ligon
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
electric and baritone guitar - danny barnes

One of the most memorable XM/Old Town School "Secret Country" shows for me was the Carter Family tribute, which featured Joy White, Steve Dawson, Casey Driessen, Danny Barnes, Kelly Hogan, Chris Ligon, and others.

The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too)

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
slide guitar - robbie gjersoe
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
organ - scott ligon

I wrote this right after Jerry Reed died -- it's one of those where the music and feel were mainly the motivaters, and the words were put down quick and dirty. Going back and forth with Gjersoe was a blast. The scratch vocal, squawked over a 58 from the control room to help the rhythm guys keep their places, sounded good so we stuck with it (I know everyone says that, but there you have it).

They Want Me Here

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bass guitar - john abbey
vocal and guitar - robbie fulks
ukulele - robbie gjersoe
accordion - john williams

When I write barroom songs I'm usually picturing a place like Lee's Liquor Lounge or Marie's Riptide: an old man's bar. In fact I think there are two kinds of bars -- old man bars, and old man bars thinly disguised as something more upbeat. Though country rounder songs are full of drunks swimming in harsh self-examination, I find that in life they are a little like office-workers or political radicals, smothering doubt and downheartedness with compulsory team spirit.

Try Leaving

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drumkit and tenor vocal - gerald dowd
bass guitar - john abbey
electric guitar - grant tye
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
fiddle - anne harris

One of those lay-it-on-the-line country tunes that's so uncomplicated it seems silly to try saying more. It seems harmless enough to fantasize about a world in which women are like disposable robots.

Vanishing Jane

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar - grant tye
acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
keyboard - chris neville
backing vocals - amy warren, k.c. mcdonough,
mike fredrickson, ingrid graudins

A high school friend died suddenly in 2007 and I started this song in her memory. Then "Joan," her name, turned to "Jane," and gradually things got farther away from the spark. As it stands, it's about the fallout from a hookup, and has some whimsical word-association lyrics; but to the subtler extent that it's still about the hole chopped in your landscape by human disappearance, it still concerns Joan, and I think of her when I'm singing it.

Waiting on These New Things To Go

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acoustic guitar and vocal - robbie fulks
vocal - kelly hogan
mandolin - don stiernberg
bass fiddle - john abbey

This is the country curmudgeon song where Kelly felt compelled to "stroke the ladybeard" whilst singing.

Walk Hard (Theme)

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar and organ - scott ligon
vocal and acoustic guitar - robbie fulks

An attempt at a title track for the movie of the same name. The instructions were: uptempo, not real jokey but more resembling an plausible hit song of the era, not much like Johnny Cash, and using the lyrics "It's a long long road" etc. I am not so awfully proud of this composition. I do love the groove and the playing.

Whitetail Woods Incident

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banjo - danny barnes
vocal and woodbox - robbie fulks

In this song a deranged narrator takes his daughter into the woods to kill her -- I guess it's a downhome update on the old "I've got to walk out of here!" joke. These macabre stories were most often done in third-person back in the day, maybe to help make clear that this was a solemn reportage function being undertaken, not an exercise in cheap thrills. But the line is fine, isn't it? I would say the first person is more suitable to the era of "Saw, I through V."

Word Up (Christian Car Radio Theme from "2 Families")

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar and vocal - grant tye
acoustic guitar and keyboard - robbie fulks
wah-wah guitar - jay o'rourke

What if some nerd was sailing down the Ventura Freeway in 1975 singing along to an absurd Christian-rock hit sung by Grant Tye? That was the challenge, and this is the answer.

You Can't Go Back

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
organ - scott ligon
vocal and guitar - robbie fulks
trumpet - b.j. cord
trombone - raphael crawford
sax - nate lepine

A ramble through old times, a little autobiographical only in that it mentions Wake County and a brother; but I think and hope that this sums up a mood that's widespread among the ex-young. Musically it echoes some favorites: Joe South, Jim Ford, Al Anderson.

You Never Were Lonelier

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drumkit - gerald dowd
bass guitar - mike fredrickson
electric guitar - grant tye
vocal, electric guitar, keyboard - robbie fulks
backing vocals - k.c. mcdonough, ingrid graudins

We in the arts run now and then into people who can't seem to deal normally with us, once they discover our profession. It's hard to tell where admiration shades into contempt. If I am noticing this, down at my level, it must be like immersion in an acid bath for the truly star-spangled. I adopt in this song the voice of the aggrieved non-arts worker and TV watcher (left behind to nurse his wounds in South Bend) not to understand him better, but to kick him.