After releasing an out-of-left-field album of Michael Jackson covers, Chicago singer-songwriterRobbie Fulks is back with a new album of original material, recorded over a mere three and a half days, dubbed Gone Away Backward. We asked Fulks about his approach to writing, staying inspired, the backlash from Jackson fans and more.
Tell us a bit about your new album.
It’s a small-group mostly acoustic record, duos up to quintets. Five of us rotate among mandolin, dobro, acoustic and electric guitar, fiddle, bass, and banjo. The mood is kind of pensive-to-bleak. The songs deal with people on the social margins, unrequited and lost love, memory, rambling, and so on. It’s country music.
How would you compare it to your last album?
More thematically and musically focused. The glue on my last one was that all the songs had been recorded at some point by Michael Jackson, and I recorded it over the course of about 9 years. Here, I wrote most of the songs, wrote most of them with this group and recording in mind, and we recorded them in 3-1/2 days. We sang and played without overdubs and almost without playback too. Altogether, compared to the MJ thing, it’s more of a snapshot, and I would say it has more consistency and cohesion.
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