Political Beats — Episode 108: Mike Long / Robbie Fulks

(Bloodshot Recordings)

Scot and Jeff discuss Robbie Fulks with Mike Long.

Group presentation:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Bléhar (@EsotericCD) with guest Mike Long. He wrote the kind of bestseller The extra molecule and he teaches writing at Georgetown University, but he mostly writes stuff for other people to put their name to. He’s on Twitter at @mikewrites.

Mike’s musical choice: Robbie Fulks
He’s almost certainly the most obscure artist we’ve ever covered political beats. Still, once the three hours are up, we think you’ll consider it one of the best as well. Ladies and gentlemen, please say hello to the incredibly talented Robbie Fulks, an artist who would be a household name if there was any justice in the music world.

Scot has been a fan for more than 20 years, dating back to discovering one of his CDs in a pile he had to review for his college radio station. Jeff is new to music, but has found something in describing it as “Elvis Costello country”. Like Elvis, Robbie has an encyclopedic knowledge of decades of music and isn’t afraid to hop from genre to genre in his work. And like Elvis, his lyrics and stories can often take center stage with creative puns and rhymes.

Whether you are a rock (Let’s kill saturday night), popular (Highland Stories), bluegrass (Gone upside down), the country (Country love songs, georgia hard), pop (50 vc. dobermann), or, in Jeff’s case, a post-punk fan, there will be something here to grab. And we haven’t even mentioned what might be his best album, Couples in difficulty. No, none of them made the charts, but the consistent quality of the music will impress any listener.

Robbie has a keen ear for creating great instrumentals and chooses wonderful partners for occasional duets. It can make you laugh out loud during one song while making you cry in your beer during the next song. He is adept at road songs, love songs, murder ballads and deceptive lamentations. And if you’re not careful, he’ll even introduce you to some of the under-loved classic country artists of the past.

If you’ve never heard of Robbie Fulks, we’ve provided the perfect introduction. Join us and you will soon be a fan.

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