CD Review of John Fullbright’s From the Ground Up
John Fullbright/From the Ground Up/Blue Dirt Records/May 2012
A talented young musician with an old soul, Okemah-born John Fullbright writes songs about religion, relationships, love and loss with an insight and perspective that belie his age. Fullbright brings a certain amount of world weariness and skepticism to this solid sophomore release that you wouldn’t normally expect from someone still on the right side of thirty, but it’s beautifully tempered by his humor and delivery.
Slow ballads, rollicking refrains, exceptional lyrics, blues, country, folk -this wonderful collection of twelve strong songs showcases Fullbright’s depth, versatility and promise. Not only did he write them all, but he plays many of the instruments, too.
Although there’s plenty of religious imagery in the first few cuts, it’s not the kind you would anticipate from small-town Oklahoma. “Gawd Above” rocks – an amusing look at the almighty’s side of the story, complete with some wicked guitar.
The lovely chorus of “Jericho” is hard to shake, while the excellent “Satan And St. Paul”, a fallen angel’s anthem, is packed with clever biblical wordplay. There’s catchy pop here, as well, the harmonica wail of the hook-filled “Moving”, and the radio-ready “Daydreamer”. With an album this good, it’s no wonder the rest of the country is tuning in to Fullbright. It’s about time they did.
– With permission from The Current.