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13 Hillbilly Giants CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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13 Hillbilly Giants
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Audio CD, CD, November 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Where his original material has assumed a more ambitiously eclectic progression, Robbie Fulks celebrates the twisted heart of hillbilly country with this revival of backwoods novelty numbers and hardcore obscurities. Highlights range from a romp through the derangement of Jimmie Logsdon's "I Want to Be Mama'd" to chilling renditions of Dolly Parton's "Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark" (originally recorded with Porter Wagoner) and Hylo Brown's "Bury the Bottle with Me." Fulks not only proves a gifted vocal mimic--his conversational phrasing on Bill Anderson's "Cocktails" is dead-on and he channels the essence of Texas honky-tonk on Frankie Miller's "Family Man"--but shows how such disparate strains have shaped the soul of his own music. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
  • ASIN: B00005R8EG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Living in the Chicago area, I get to see Robbie Fulks perform fairly often. This disc is on his own Boondoggle label, and initially could only be purchased from him or his website. I have been enjoying it for almost a year now and am happy to see it in wider release. If you like Robbie in his country mode ("Country Love Songs", "South Mouth") you will love this CD.
No Fulks originals here, just a respectful tribute to some of his favorite artists and their classic songs from "the golden age of country". You won't hear anything by well-known names like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, or George Jones. The only folks I recognized were Bill Anderson and Porter Wagoner/Dolly Parton. But, as you might expect, Robbie has an ear for a good song, and he has unearthed some beauties here.
The disc starts out with the lone instrumental track, Jimmy Arnold's "Southern Comfort," featuring some nice guitar picking by both Robbies (Fulks and Gjersoe). Other highlights include Anderson's "Cocktails," Dave Rich's bouncy "Burn on Love Fire," and Wynn Stewart's "Donna on my Mind." Two of the strongest tracks close things out: Jean Shepard's "Act Like a Married Man" (clocking in at a brisk 2:00), and a chilling version of Hylo Brown's "Bury the Bottle With Me."
These are songs about drinkin' and lovin' and cheatin'. It's potent stuff, and it's real country music -- not the fluff that passes for country these days. Fulks has some fun here ("Knothole", "I Want to Be Mama'd"), but obviously has a great love and respect for this music. He is to be commended for bringing these lesser known artists and their songs to our attention.
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Format: Audio CD
With "13 Hillbilly Giants," Robbie Fulks performs an invaluable service--not only to a largely forgotten group of country singers and songwriters, but also to 21st-century audiences who've been brainwashed into believing that the soft-rock drivel currently oozing out of Nashville is real country music. Fulks' performances of songs such as "Cocktails," "Burn on Love Fire," "I Want to Be Mama'd" and "Family Man" are so authentic you can almost imagine yourself at home, listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the old Philco console circa 1955. A small confession: the composition by the most famous country star represented here--Dolly Parton's "Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark"--is the sort of morbid weeper that had me believing for years that I hated country music. But Fulks more than makes up for its inclusion by his closing song, Hylo Brown's "Bury the Bottle With Me." This one goes completely off the Morbid Meter, but the tune is so lovely, and the words so starkly, simply tragic, that it is unforgettable.
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Format: Audio CD
Fulks is a fully realized songwriter, and on his other LPs you can hear his very fine tunesmithing. Here, we are instead treated to his keen ear and encyclopedic knowledge of old-time country music, in addition to the (expected) crack musicianship. His selections are (mostly) wonderful. I've never heard any of the originals, but I have no doubt that Fulks has exceeded them. THIS is exactly what should be played on country music radio instead of the Faith Hill & Kenny Chesney pablum that masquerades as country music. One small caveat - whether he is writing them or picking them, when Fulks gets a clunker, it's a doozy of a clunker! Given that we are treated to only 13 tunes, I could have done without the harmless novelty song "Knot Holes." And even Fulks cannot rescue the vapid treacliness of Dolly's "Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark." The rest is wonderful, particularly the drinkin' laments - "Cocktails" and "Bury the Bottle With Me."

Fulks is a genius.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unsung (pun!), under appreciated genius. What country music used -- and still is, if you look in the right places -- to be before in became corporized.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The songs on this CD feel flat. They're a little preachy, lack melodic or verbal hooks, and boring.
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