Fulks 2010 residency at The Hideout


Mai 2 2010, 16h58

In February, Robbie Fulks began a Monday night residency at The
Hideout, which is scheduled to last throughout at least all of 2010
(whenever Robbie is available). Few artists would do such a thing
with as great a diversity as he has thus far. So I'll use this journal
to keep a record of the shows, updating it throughout the year.
[whenever a song title is in quotes, it's a guess on my part]

On October 31, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times ran an article on Robbie's residency: http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/2844886,music-residencies-103110.article

Feb 1 - with Robbie Gjersoe
I'm starting this Monday, Feb. 1, with something safe and sound: my duo with the incredible Robbie Gjersoe. We'll be focusing on country flatpick songs. Bring your eighth-note-o-meters.
?? (instrumental)
Molly and Tenbrooks [Bill Monroe]
Georgia Hard
The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.?]
Guess I Got It Wrong
Cheyenne [Bill Monroe]
The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too)
Real Money
Goodbye, Virginia
Caked Joy Rag
She Took A Lot Of Pills And Died
That’s Where I’m From
Between Lust And Watching TV [Bill Anderson]
Rub It In [Billy “Crash” Craddock]
In Bristol Town One Bright Day
There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin]
Big Mon [Bill Monroe]

Molly and Tenbrooks

Caked Joy Rag

Rub It In

Feb 8 - with Nora O'Conner
Come enjoy a mixed-sex duo, Nora O'Connor and me. You know Nora from her performances and recordings with Neko Case, Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers -- I mean, if either of us knows her from that, you do; I only know her as the good-looking mom who lives down the street and sings great. For a long time she only seemed to sing great. Now, after having been invited to sing on Mavis Staples's new record, she is known to. Maybe that's how Nora comes to be so full of herself. The day Mavis asks me to sing on a record is the day I cease all communications with you earth people. Anyway, Nora's and my Monday show is billed as "original and folk songs," which I believe to be accurate. At past shows we've done three songs from her fine solo record (Til The Dawn) and I hope we can do a few more on Monday. Maybe a Michael Jackson song, probably not. A fiddle tune or two for sure. 7PM is when it starts.
(missed for Frank Turner show in Austin)

Feb 15 - with Robbie Gjersoe & John Abbey
A trio: John Abbey, Robbie Gjersoe, and myself. We'll be building the show on the possibilities suggested by upright bass, acoustic guitar, and whatever it is that Gjersoe will play, which isn't nailed down yet. Looks like a good night to swing (e.g. the Monk and Coltrane heads Robbie and I have been fooling with on our off-hours) and get a little abstract (Steve Reich joins the Carter Family?), and a fine occasion to, so to speak, folk this town. (The word "Indian" has also come up, which frankly distresses me, but we'll see; Messrs. Gjersoe and Abbey are worldly instrumentalists who have only one handicap, and its name is "Robbie Fulks.") As almost always, you can expect some of my originals and some fiddle tunes.
Going To A Party [NRBQ]
Eighth Wonder Of The World [John D. Loudermilk]
?? (instrumental)
Weak Brain, Narrow Mind [Willie Dixon]
Georgia Hard
There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin]
Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.]
Snake Chapman’s Tune [origins uncertain: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/topic/15356]
It’s About The Money
A Handful of Riffs [Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang]
Don’t Rob Another Man’s Castle [Jenny Lou Carson]
Rock Bottom, Pop. 1
?? [Robbie Gjersoe]
Big Mon [Bill Monroe]
Busy Not Crying
Goodbye, Virginia
I Want To Be Mama’d [Jimmie Logsdon]

Feb 22 - with his usual band (Grant Tye, Gerald Dowd & Mike Fredrickson)
It's "me and the guys," Grant Tye, Mike Fredrickson and Gerald Dowd. Not sure what all we'll be playing, but it looks like I'll duet with all three guys, play a few new tunes and a bunch of older ones, and take a couple requests. Nothing too out-there. If this is the kind of thing you like then you'll really like this.
instrumental jam (Tye, Dowd, Frederickson)
The Blues For Murder Only [Lonnie Johnson] (Tye, Fulks)
Try Leaving (Fulks, Dowd)
The Mississippi Queen [John Hartford] (Fulks, Dowd)
Brand New Heartache [Felice & Boudleaux Bryant] (Fulks, Fredrickson)
Still In Love With You [?] [Mike Fredrickson] (Fulks, Fredrickson)
Orphan Train [U. Utah Phillips]
Vanishing Jane
Banks of the Marianne
I’d Be Lonesome
Busy Not Crying
Real Money
Isn’t Love Strange [Mike Fredrickson]
Two Lane Highway [Mike Fredrickson]
Dirty-Mouthed Flo
Can’t Win For Losing You
Georgia Hard
Cigarette State
Billy Jean [Michael Jackson]
I Push Right Over
Let’s Kill Saturday Night
improv birthday song for music critic Mark Guarino
Sleeping On The Job Of Love

Try Leaving

Brand New Heartache

I Push Right Over

April 5 - with The Hoyle Brothers ('70s country)
I'll be surveying the country music of the 1970s with the Hoyle Brothers. The Hoyles are one of three bands in the Chicago area who play traditional country music and have good chops, and the other two aren't playing this Monday, not counting the bandleader of one. If the sexy, seen-it-all songs of Don Williams and Ronnie Milsap hit your eardrums like an intoxicating Caribbean breeze, then you should know where to be at 7:00 sharp.
(artist noted is one who made it famous, not necessarily the writer; vocals were split between Robbie and Trevor McSpadden)
Pure Love [Ronnie Milsap]
Drinking Thing [Gary Stewart]
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain [Willie Nelson]
Fourteen Carat Mind [Gene Watson]
You Make Me Feel More Like A Man [Mel Street]
Amanda [Don Williams]
Married But Not To Each Other [Barbara Mandrell]
Blanket On The Ground [Billie Jo Spears]
Leaving Love All Over The Place [George Jones]
Brass Buttons [Gram Parsons]
There Won't Be Anymore [Charlie Rich]
Chick Inspector (That's Where My Money Goes) [Dick Curless]
Someone To Give My Love To [Johnny Paycheck]
Between Lust And Watching TV [Cal Smith]
Pass Me By [Johnny Rodriguez]
Amos Moses [Jerry Reed]
Middle Age Crazy [Jerry Lee Lewis]
Wichita Lineman [Glen Campbell]
had to leave early so missed the last few songs

You Make Me Feel More Like A Man


Chick Inspector (That's Where My Money Goes)

April 12 - with Robbie Gjersoe
Robbie Gjersoe and I play. The classic flatpick guitar and vocal harmony duo! We'll be fresh off our California weekend. Either exhausted or inspired, we'll see.
(missed for Miniature Tigers/The Morning Benders show)

April 19 - with Eliza Gilkyson
I play with the great Texas songwriter and singer Eliza Gilkyson. I met and played with Eliza in Calgary a few years back and was blown away by her voice and compositions. The adjectives that come right to mind are: sweet, unforced, tuneful, canny, velvet.
(missed for Monotonix show)

April 26 - with Greg Cahill (of Special Consensus, a band Robbie was in during the late '80s) (Banjo Wars)
Greg Cahill on the five-string, me on the six. Expect, of course, some bluegrass (including a few songs from our 1980s heyday in Special Consensus -- those days, to coin a bluegrass-singing phrase, of whine and noses). Also a little swing, a dab of Celt, a smidgen of bebop, a rank trousseau of old-timey, and a lot of...what's that word for when it's old and not very fast and no one knows an exact name for it...folk music.
[Tim Tuten missed his flight to DC so we got what has now become a rare Tuten intro. For better or worse -- I'm of the mind, better -- nobody can ramble like Tim.]
Foggy Mountain Special [Earl Scruggs]
Ramblin’ Fever [Merle Haggard]
Crossing The Big Sandy [trad. - a/k/a Big Sandy River]
Jackie-Ing > Garry Owen [Thelonious Monk > trad.]
I’ll Love Nobody But You [Jim & Jesse]
East Tennessee Blues [trad.]
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (instrumental) [Hank Williams]
Whitetail Woods Incident
Back Up And Push [trad.]
Lady Be Good (instrumental) [George Gershwin]
Country Boy Rock and Roll [Don Reno]
Angeline The Baker [trad.] (both Greg & Robbie play banjo)
Down The Road [Lester Flat]
Margarita Breakdown [Greg Cahill]
Ring Of Fire [June Carter Cash]

Ramblin' Fever

Back Up And Push

Country Boy Rock And Roll

Angeline The Baker

May 3 - with Gerald Dowd & KC McDonough (Mystery Theater)
A trio: K.C. McDonough, Gerald Dowd, and myself, playing different things, such as guitars, piano, bass, percussion, and dobro. In thinking of this trio and its abilities, I had anticipated a crazy-wide swath of music references. As things worked out, after everyone threw his titles in the e-ring, it seems that most of our set comes from 1967. But a few outliers include a 19th-century Baptist hymn, a new Dowd original, and a terrific tune by Silkworm. Come see us if you dare.
KC on bass, piano & drums
Gerald on drums, acoustic guitar, bass, and kazoo
Robbie on electric & acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, and bass
initials after the song indicate who had lead vocals (typically the person who chose it)

?? instrumental
Sunday Best [Bobbie Gentry] (KM)
It Was Love (That Ruined Me) (RF)
Clay Pigeons [Blaze Foley] (GD)
Mr. John [Arthur Alexander] (KM)*
?? (jazzy instrumental -- Robbie on acoustic, Gerald on bass, KC on piano, plus a drum machine) (RF)
Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] (GD)
Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass [Buck Owens] (GD)**
When I Write The Book [Nick Lowe] (KM)
Twelve Bar Midnight [Jerry Reed] (RF)
Treat The New Guy Right [Silkworm] (GD)***
Uptight Good Woman [Jimmy Johnson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn - Solomon Burke version] (KM)
September Gurls [Alex Chilton] (RF)
I Couldn't Say It To Your Face [Arthur Russell] (GD)
Heartbreak Tennessee [Johnny Paycheck] (KM)
You May Sing Of The Beauty [hymn] (RF/GD)
?? new song [Gerald Dowd] (GD)****
Tennessee Rock 'n' Roll [Larry Coleman/Irving Reid] (RF)
Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (GD)

*per KC, the only songwriter covered by the Beatles, Stones, and Dylan
** supposedly the first time Robbie's ever played bass
*** Andy Cohen was in the audience but refused the opportunity to do vocals due to having a cold
**** Gerald is working on a solo album; only about 1/3 done, but hopes it will be out in 2010

When I Write The Book

Twelve Bar Midnight

You May Sing Of The Beauty

May 10 - (tribute to Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming)
I cover/interpret "Slow Train Coming" by Bob Dylan with a 5-piece band. Don't know how long this will go (the record is 47 minutes long) but there should be time for some songs of mine afterward too.

By the way, I was surprised (I should know enough about how music works by now not to be surprised by things like this, but that's another story) how far the forethought and care in dressing and arranging these songs for the 1979 recording, together with the fine playing, go toward making them live. (As in rhymes with "give.") Remove these well-wrought structural underpinnings (the contribution, I presume, of Jerry Wexler, primus inter pares), begin anew with the lyrics and chords, and glaring problems immediately come to light. Problems, I mean, for the would-be singer, who must put his or her full weight and sincerity behind passages that are...well, tough words, words like "insane," "childish," "dazed and confused," and "absurdly slapdash," come to mind.

I'm not talking primarily about the Christian fundamentalist content or the ranting wake-up-Americans Ed Anger persona, because to me those supply much of the record's excitement and unique fascination. But by some dark alchemy, the man who crafted "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" became the man who drafted the lyrics "He saw an animal that liked to growl/Big furry paws and he liked to howl/Great big furry back and furry hair..." and then nodded approvingly at the page: Good enough -- next! Lines like these commingle with word-perfect stanzas, such as the second verse of the title song ("I had a woman down in Alabama..."). Delivered with conviction by a man from whom you're used to a large measure of recklessness in exposing his quirks and enthusiasms, balanced by strong and sympathetic accompanists, the big furry flaws (or great big furry flaws?) attain perspective. But my players and I have to find a different place to start from.

The cliche is true -- to sing something you have to feel it personally in some way. To truly feel some of these passages I would have to divorce, eat toxins, wander in the desert for many months, and meet Pat Boone in a dream with Milton Babbitt providing soundtrack. I can't do all that by Monday, but I will work hard to prepare for a task that is a little more challenging than I realized when I first decided to pay homage to a record that I love for its intensity and performance quality.

Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar
Grant Tye - electric guitar
Gerald Dowd - drums
John Abbey - electric bass
Chris Neville - keyboard

Gotta Serve Somebody [Bob Dylan]
Precious Angel [Bob Dylan]
I Believe In You [Bob Dylan]
Slow Train [Bob Dylan]
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking [Bob Dylan] (sung by Grant Tye)
Do Right To Me Baby [Bob Dylan] (sung by Chris Neville)
When You Gonna Wake Up [Bob Dylan]
Man Gave Names To All The Animals [Bob Dylan]
When He Returns [Bob Dylan]
Going Back To Indiana [Michael Jackson]
Busy Not Crying
She Took A Lot Of Pills (And Died)
I Want To Be Mama’d
Can’t Win For Losing You
That’s A Good Enough Reason [Benny Martin]
Rock Bottom, Pop. 1
Let’s Kill Saturday Night

Precious Angel

Slow Train Coming

When He Returns

That's a Good Enough Reason

May 17 - with Jim Dewan (The Jim and Rob Show)
It's the return of the late and very discreetly lamented Jim and Rob Show, which some of you might remember from the early 1990s. Remember when they had the big "Return to Gilligan's Island" cast reunion, how amazingly just-the-same Alan Hale and Dawn Wells looked, how Russell Johnson looked like some Palm Beach witch doctor had left him too long in the mud bath? This show will provide similar cheap spectator thrills. Jim will be Dawn (his last name, DeWan, is a cryptogram) and I will be Russell (because my Johnson is caked with mud). Just like back in our glory days, we'll flatpick, do some of our own songs, improvise a song-of-the-month based on your title suggestions, mock God, and say dirty words to make you laugh.
Jim & Robbie Show introduction
?? instrumental
Little Coquette [Carmen Lombardo]
I Don't Know How To Say Goodbye To You [Sam Phillips]
That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine [Gene Autry]
"Monkeys On My Back" ?? [sung by DeWan]
In A Little Gypsy Tea Room [Bob Crosby]
Nuts About You [DeWan] (partial - begun by Fulks reading, continued by DeWan singing)
New Mexico 1947 [DeWan]
Bill Black [Fulks & DeWan]
Sophronie [Jimmie Rogers]
Dream of the Miner's Child [trad.]
"Brother That Ain't No Breakfast" [Fulks & DeWan]
Elevator Lou medley [Fulks & DeWan]
Cigarette State
title of the month medley: I've Got That Old Feeling>I Wish I Was A Pretty, Pretty Girl>Mayor Daley>Grandma Get Off The Stove, You're Too Old To Ride The Range [improv songs based on audience-suggested titles]
Lulu Wall [Carter family?]
I'm A Believer [Neil Diamond]
Blue-Eyed Jane [Jimmie Rogers]
Blake's March [Norman Blake]

Bill Black

Elevator Lou medley

Lulu Wall

May 24 - with Nora O'Connor
Nora O'Connor has just come home from a trip where she sang on network TV with Jakob Dylan. Now she's strumming with me at the Hideout on Wabansia Street. Loser!!!
(NO) = Nora had the lead vocal
Nightingale [James Mathus] (NO)
Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.]
Goodbye Virginia
Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO)
Because You Can
Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In [Harlan Howard]
Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO)
I'll Trade You Money For Wine
Georgia Boys > Indian Creek [Danny Barnes > Arthur Smith]
Heart, I Wish You Were Here
Waiting On These New Things To Go
So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO)
Flame In My Heart [George Jones]
Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO)
My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO)
A Ragged Old Man [U. Utah Phillips]
The Lost Indian [trad.?]
Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Flatt and Scruggs]
Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.] (NO)
Shanty In The Holler [Jimmy Driftwood]

Because You Can


So Much Wine

Shanty In The Holler

June 7 - with Steve Dawson
I first heard Steve Dawson sing at the Beat Kitchen in 1990, with his and his wife Diane's band Stump The Host. I could tell right away why he had no ass. He had sung it right off! Since that night I've admired his singing and writing, as exemplified in Dolly Varden and on his solo records. So I'm glad to get to share the stage with him on the coming Monday. I'm going to sing some of his songs and he's going to sing some of mine. We'll cover some offbeat favorites of ours. Harmonies in thirds and fifths will be deployed. And there is a gimmick underway involving paranormal children, about which I'll say no more.
[RF and/or SD = lead vocal]
Heart, I Wish You Were Here [RF & SD]
I'm the One I Despise [Steve Dawson] [RF]
It's Been a Great Afternoon [Merle Haggard] [RF]
Waiting [Steve Dawson] [SD]
You Wouldn't Do That To Me [RF]
Sweet Is The Anchor [Steve Dawson] [RF]
Check Out The Career [RF]
The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] [RF]
The Buck Starts Here [SD]
I Always Get Lucky With You [Gary Church/Merle Haggard/Freddy Powers/Tex Whitson] [SD]
Man In The Mirror [Michael Jackson] [RF]
I Gotta Get Drunk [Willie Nelson] [RF]
Gimme Little Sign [Jerry Winn, Alfred Smith, Joseph Hooven - Brenton Wood] [SD & RF]
The River of Jordan [trad. - The Louvin Brothers] [SD]
I'll Be There [Berry Gordy/Bob West/Hal Davis/Willie Hutch - The Jackson 5] [SD & RF]
Soul Music Is Better Than Country [Fulks & Dawson] [RF & SD]*
How Deep Is Your Love [The Bee Gees] [SD & RF]
Keep On The Sunny Side [Ada Blenkhorn] [RF]

* The previous four songs were performed with Steve's daughter and Robbie's son as judges, rating the songs in several categories. Country won, but Robbie & Steve were so certain that soul would win that they had written this song in advance and performed it anyway with a bit of modification to reflect the actual results.

The Thing You Love Is Killing You

The Buck Starts Here

I Gotta Get Drunk (country v. soul 1)

Gimme Little Sign (country v. soul 2)

The River of Jordan (country v. soul 3)

I'll Be There (country v. soul 4)

Soul Music Is Better Than Country (country v. soul 5)
(if you watch this, be sure you first watch at least one of the four previous videos in order to understand it)

June 14 - with Gerald Dowd & KC McDonough (Mystery Theater)
KC on bass, piano
Gerald on drums, acoustic guitar, bass, piano
Robbie on acoustic guitar, dobro, mini keyboard
initials after the song indicate who had lead vocals

I Wanna Be With You [Rasberries] (RF)
Untie Me [Joe South] (KM)
Venus Is Her Name [Freedy Johnston] (GD)
Uptight Good Woman [Jimmy Johnson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn - Solomon Burke version] (KM)
Clay Pigeons [Blaze Foley] (GD)
I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF)
Miss The Mississippi And You [Jimmie Rodgers] (KM)
Jackie-Ing [Thelonious Monk]
What Do You Mean? [Vic Chesnutt] (RF)
?? bluegrass instrumental
Sunday Best [Bobby Gentry] (KM)
Damn Girl [Justin Timberlake] (GD)
Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] (GD)
Rainy Weather Friend [David Mead] (KM)
Gossamer Riddle [Baby Ray] (GD)
September Gurls [Alex Chilton] (RF)
When I Write The Book [Nick Lowe] (KM)
Twelve Bar Midnight [Jerry Reed]
Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (GD)

Clay Pigeons

Miss The Mississippi And You

What Do You Mean?

Damn Girl

June 21 - with Eric Noden
Sorry I've been away for a bit. 2 kids out of school + 0 wife at home = infinitely distracted dad. Tomorrow night's show is a duo with Eric Noden. I've admired Eric's skill with country blues for many years before he was part of the fantastic group called the Sanctified Grumblers, since way back when we both taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music. From the number of successful Chicago musicians who play nasal twangy music, or who tilt their heads and grumble hoarsely when they speak, I'd say neither of us had a very widespread effect as pedagogues. Be that as it may, both of us are good at making a stringed instrument go doink in a sexy manner, and that's what we'll be doing at 7P Monday on harmonica, banjo, guitar, and banjo-guitar. See you there!
Apple Tree Swing [Sonny Boy Williamson] (EN)
Windy And Warm [John D. Loudermilk]
Bay Rum Blues [Gwen Foster] (EN)
Jesus And Bartenders [Larry Cordle] (RF)
Louis Collins [Mississippi John Hurt] (EN)
Fat Gal [Merle Travis] (RF)
Insane Crazy Blues [Memphis Jug Band] (EN)
Imogene (RF)
Cincinnati Flow Rag [Rev. Gary Davis]
On The Corner Of I Love And You (RF)
Nine Bar [Eric Noden] (EN)
Long Tall Mama [Big Bill Broonzy] (EN)
Dead As Me (RF)
I Will Turn Your Money Green [Furry Lewis] (EN)
Caked Joy Rag
400 Miles From Home [Eric Noden] (EN)
Mississippi Kid [Lynyrd Skynyrd] (RF)
Crooked Road Blues [Eric Noden] (EN)
Old Spinning Wheel [Ray Noble]
You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back [Memphis Jug Band] (EN)
Who's Been Talking [Howlin Wolf] (EN)
I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF)

Jesus And Bartenders

Louis Collins

Long Tall Mama

Mississippi Kid

June 28 - with Robbie Gjersoe & Beau Sample
Robbie Gjersoe, Beau Sample, and I are cranking up a trio set. Beau is the longtime bassist for Hot Club of Cowtown, and Robbie is Robbie. It looks like a fair amount of instrumental music (Bill Doggett, John Coltrane, etc.) will be on offer. I've been in NYC this week and was looking at some National guitars with the thought of buying one, but I didn't fall head over heels for any I played; so if you see one Monday, it's Gjersoe's.
(BS) = sung by Beau Sample
China Boy [Dick Winfree/Phil Boutelje]
It's My Lazy Day [Bob Wills] (BS)
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens [Alex Kramer & Joan Whitney - famous by Louis Jordan]
Snake Chapman's Tune [origin unknown]
Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.]
Hey! Hey! Hey! [Stanley Brothers]
If I Were A King [The Prisonaires] (BS)
A Handful Of Riffs [Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang]
Weak Brain, Narrow Mind [Willie Dixon]
?? instrumental [Eddie Harris]
Arthur Koestler's Eyes
Brown Bottle [?]
Big Boy [?]
There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin]
Going Back To Indiana [Michael Jackson]
I Wanna Be Mama'd [Jimmie Logsdon]

It's My Lazy Day

There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

Going Back To Indiana

July 5 - with Don Stiernberg (mandolin duets)
Don Stiernberg on mandolin, me on guitar. Swing, bluegrass, and country.
(missed for The Thermals/Disappears show)

July 12 - with Paul Turner (Doberman stories)
An unusual collaboration between me (guitar) and Paul Turner (spoken word). Paul is an actor and monologuist who, among his other talents, is able to turn the scrappy scenes of his raising in and around Cairo, Illinois, into lean, sparkling, honest stories. For this show, he has taken some of my 50-Vc. Doberman songs and built stories around them, and I've done a little musical tinkering around some of his scripts. Let's see what the result is. 7P, give or take 15 minutes, as usual.
Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.]
Reuben in Cairo, IL (Turner story)
Moses On The Mountain
civil war (Turner story)
Common Law Cabin
open letter to Miller-Coors CEO Leo Kiely (Turner story)
Blaze Of Ugly
missing Alexander County this time of year (Turner story)
That's Where I'm From (incl. Turner story)
Try Leaving
Check Out The Career (incl. Turner story)
joke about a hole, transmission, and goat (Turner)
I Say, Hang Him
auctioning off the farm (Turner story)
Goodbye, Virginia

Moses On The Mountain

missing Alexander County this time of year

Check Out The Career

July 19 - with Nora O'Connor
Nora O'Connor is back from overseas this week and, with the sea-salt clinging still to her mane, will join me for a show that will draw from our longtime songbags (does that sound like a singing Golden Girls act?) and our previous Hideout appearances, and feature a couple new ones as well. She's one of my absolute favorite people to sing and play with, and the ease and good grace with which she lives and sings are happily contagious. You can see us at 7P, you know where to go.
Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO)
Nightingale [James Mathus] (NO)
My Old Drunk Friend [Freakwater] (NO)
Heart, I Wish You Were Here
Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs]
My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO)
Because You Can
I'll Trade You Money For Wine
So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO)
Georgia Boys [trad.] > Indian Creek [trad. famous by Arthur Smith]
Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO)
Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.]
Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO)
Goodbye Virginia
I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock famous by Conway Twitty]
Shanty In The Holler [Jimmy Driftwood]
Flame In My Heart [George Jones]
Waiting On These New Things To Go
That’s Alright [Fleetwood Mac] (NO)
Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In [Harlan Howard]

Take Me In Your Lifeboat

Bluebirds Are Singing For Me

Love Letters

I'd Rather Have What We Had

July 26 - with band (I Heart Alex Chilton)
I Heart Alex Chilton! A band of me and three other gentlemen will play music from across 30 years of Alex's even longer career, which, like Michael Jackson's, was vigorously restless, spanned and assimilated at least a half-dozen vogues in contemporary music, and looked to be, until a premature expiry, all but unstoppable. Alex Chilton = American music. Come revel in its dark glory with us, 7PM July 26.
Robbie - acoustic/electric guitar
Liam Davis (of Frisbie) - acoustic/electric guitar; keyboard
KC McDonough - bass
Gerald Dowd - drums
names in brackets are composer - performer
initials in parentheses indicate who chose and sang the song

The Ballad of El Goodo [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell - Big Star] (LD)
Let Me Get Close To You [Gerry Goffin/Carole King - Alex Chilton] (RF)
Cry Like A Baby [Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham - The Box Tops] (KM)
Neon Rainbow [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (KM)
Free Again [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (RF)
Thirteen [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell - Big Star] (GD)
O My Soul [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (LD)
Guantanamerika [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (RF)
Daisy Glaze [Chilton/Andy Hummel/Jody Stephens - Big Star] (LD)
Hey! Little Child [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (GD)
Nightime [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (LD)
What's Your Sign Girl [Danny Pearson/Anthony Sepe - Alex Chilton] (RF)
The Letter [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (KM)
Soul Deep [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (GD)
It's Too Late To Turn Back Now [Cornelius Brothers - Alex Chilton] (GD)
September Gurls [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (RF)

Cry Like A Baby




August 2 - with KC McDonough and Gerald Dowd (Mystery Theater)
This will be the third time out for the Mystery Trio: K.C. (a.k.a. Casey) McDonough, Gerald Dowd, and me. A more burdensome but accurate name would be Imaginary Jukebox Trio, because we play the songs that we think a musician might hear on a celestial pop jukebox, if a musician were tragically to die and if there were a heaven and...let's just stick with Mystery Trio. The idea was, all of us sing well, play at least a couple different instruments, and have very wide tastes, so that, if we all chose material independently and in equal amounts, we would come up a seriously unpredictable kind of program. This turned to be only sort-of true, because our song list strongly represents 3-minute pop-rock lyric songs from the 1960s and the lineal descendants of the era. This week I am bringing in a Stanley Brothers tune and two others of that ilk that could tilt the show a little more red-state, but the extremely fey selections of Gerald and K.C. look likely to tilt it right back.

There is an ideal in music that I don't always observe but am always in admiration of: communication of depth and sophistication without prodigious technical display. This can be an elusive goal in its realization, because it's easy to play minimally and crappily, and hard to rein in prodigy skills, which tend to be as satisfying for audiences to receive as they are for performers to vent. A natural-feeling, undogmatic kind of underplaying is what I am drawn to, and inspired by, in the approaches of K.C. and Gerald, and most of the songs we play answer to that kind of tactic. (On the Stanley Brothers though, I will try to play my cracker ass off.)

(missed for Frank Turner in Hartford)

August 9 - with Jenny Scheinman (Chicklit and Hick Shit)
Jenny Scheinman drops by to drip some hot waxen fiddlistic brilliancy on the Hideout's sodden green stage carpet. Quite a lot of what I present on Mondays is of a feeling-it-out nature, with some favorite players that I don't get to play with as often as I'd like. But what I do with Jenny (like what I do with Gjersoe or Nora O'C) is at this point more like an act. We do hardly anything that's underrehearsed, let alone un-. Which is a little paradoxical because when we started making music together a year-and-a-half ago, it was sitting in the kitchen goofing on fiddle tunes and screwing around in a tavern down the block, and now we're like the Will and Ariel Durant of the hopelessly obscure, embittered troubadour circuit, you know? A big fucking freakshow. If you live around Chicago and you appreciate seeing a violin well-played, in whatever idiom, you should drop everything and come down. Leaving aside her fearsome chops, nobody I play with has a freer attitude, or a keener bullshit detector.
(JS) = Jenny lead vocals
(RF) = Robbie lead vocals

?? fiddle tune
Newspaper Angels [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
I'll Trade You Money For Wine (RF)
Houston [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
8 More Miles to Louisville [Grandpa Jones] (RF)
My Old Man [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Imogene (RF)
?? fiddle tune
Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
The Palms Of Maracaibo [Lionel Belasco]
Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Goodbye Virginia (RF)
?? fiddle tune
The Littlest Prisoner [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Moses On The Mountain (RF)
Broken Spoke Waltz [Alvin Crow]
Single Girl, Married Girl [The Carter Family] (JS & RF)
Bill Cheatham [trad.]
The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) (RF)
I'm Satisfied [Mississippi John Hurt] (JS)

Newspaper Angels

8 More Miles To Louisville


The Palms Of Maracaibo

August 16 - with Beau Sample (Doghouse Flights)
Beau Sample and me. Banjo-bass and guitar-bass duets. Beau is one of those rare guys who knows the entire Slim and Slam catalog by heart and yet is not a drooling, antisocial freak. If you don't know much about that kind of music (small-group swing, or pre-1950s rock-and-roll, whichever you'd call it) you could drop dozens of dollars on itunes and broaden yourself...or come see our show, for only a sawbuck. See? "Sawbuck" -- I'm already talking like one of those drooling fantasyland guys -- it's that delightful. The handsome bassist/singer and I will also play tunes he and I wrote, and touch on Merle Haggard and some others. Please drop by if failing to would gnaw at your soul.
(BS) - lead vocal by Beau Sample
(RF) - lead vocal by Robbie

China Boy [Dick Winfree/Phil Boutelje] > improv'd intro for show
"Goodbye Goodbye" ("here am I, I'm so high and dry, goodbye goodbye, ever since you went away you I haven't even said goodbye, goodbye goodbye, Lord it ain't no use, yes I know I cooked my golden goose, and it ain't no use") (BS)
Big John McNeil [trad.]
It's My Lazy Day [Bob Wills] (BS)
The Episcopalian Guitar [title per Robbie, but can find nothing on it]
Memphis Women and Chicken [Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson] (RF)
Hand Me Down My Walking Cane [trad.] (RF)
Don't Worry About Me [Beau Sample] (BS)
Potato Chips [Slim And Slam] (BS)
The Golden Globe Award [John Hartford] (RF)
After While (We Gonna Drink a Little Whiskey) [Willie Dixon] (BS & RF)
?? guitar/bass instrumental
Joan Crawford Love Dance [instrumental piece he wrote to go with the silent film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp]
No Love In You [Harmon Boazeman] (BS)
You Can't Go Back (RF)
Caked Joy Rag
Just Another Place I Don't Belong [Miles Zuniga, Al Anderson] (RF)
If I Were A King [The Prisonaires] (BS)

Memphis Women and Chicken

Potato Chips

After While (We Gonna Drink A Little Whiskey)

If I Were King

August 23 - with Robbie Gjersoe & Jenny Scheinman (String Wizard Trio)
It's String Summit of the Demigods, as Jenny Scheinman, Robbie Gjersoe, and I yank mellifluently at each other's chains. We've played tons of shows in every possible combination of twos, but only thrice before as a trio (summer of '09). What the hell will we play? The hallowed names of John Coltrane and Sonny Throckmorton have been bandied about, but words such as "Throckmorton" are easy to say, no? What will actually unfold at this show is anyone's guess, at least until the three of us meet a half-hour in advance at the Hideout and pretend to talk it over while greedily lapping at Courvoisiers, and after that it's an utter mystery. There should be a lot of good playing (there always should be), and it should start at 7PM (it never quite does).
?? instrumental
Waiting On These New Things To Go
Just A Child [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Goodbye Virginia
Brown Bottle [?]
Houston [Scheinman] (JS)
Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Apple Tree Swing [Sonny Boy Williamson]
Goodbye Girls, I'm Going To Boston [trad.]
Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party [John Fletcher / Frances Kyle]
Dance The Night Away [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Mystery Train [Junior Parker / Sam Phillips] (JS)
The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too)
?? instrumental
The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton]
?? instrumental [John Coltrane]
Hot Fingers [Lonnie Johnson]
Let's Kill Saturday Night

Just A Child

Goodbye Virginia

Apple Tree Swing

The Way I Am

September 13 - with The Hoyle Brothers
I'm back! Not with Scotty Ligon, as some outlets are advertising. That's the week following. This Monday is classic country with the Hoyle Brothers. We did this last March and had a swell time as well as a big, appreciative bunch of listeners, so we're doing it again, and a good deal of the repertoire will be different from last time. Not sure what "classic" means, except what it usually means in popular culture: from about the time when most movies were filmed in color till 25 years before now, whenever "now" happens to be. So, on the classic movie channel, they're now running classics such as "The Stepfather" starring Jill Schoelen; and on my classic country night, I'll sing -- since there's not much going on in mid-1980s country, we'll set the cut-off date farther back -- Barbara Mandrell, whose pretty-okay music a hip fellow like me wouldn't have been caught dead listening to just a few years ago! If you come see me in ten years, I'll probably be paying solemn tribute to Diamond Rio.

I wonder what the fantastic and delectable Jill Schoelen is up to now?

(missed for MusicFest NW in Portland)

September 20 - Scott Ligon (The Kook Duo)
Out On A Limb With Scott Ligon. It started as a duo. The genius multi-instrumentalist of the Heatersons, the Terry Adams Quartet, Kelly Hogan and..., the Western Elstons, and the Flat Five would be my sidekick in a night of hetero-genial kookery. Then, as the date fast approached, a bassist was added. Cute tropes were toyed with and discarded. Individual titles were discussed, with bated breath and clenched jaws. Rehearsal began in earnest. Two days later, all agreed-upon titles were thrown decisively overboard. Next, deleting all conventional gestures of planning and adding a drummer were suggested. [Scott Ligon + suitable past-tense verb can be fairly substituted in all passive constructions.]

At present I have no idea where this stands. I am basically positive -- I devoutly believe -- that on Monday shortly past 7PM, Scott and I will step onto the grim Hideout proscenium, accompanied by -- don't quote me -- one or two or three other people who play instruments, perchance to create, if only via furtive glances and shared memories and reckless improvisation, a shaky illusion of musical order. Whether it happens to be good or bad, I can't say, but I can say with total assurance that it will happen only once. And, if you've ever seen Scotty play live, or paid attention to music performance over the last 100-odd years, you'll probably agree that focused visionaries working off the cuff (e.g., Louis Armstrong, Jonathan Richman) may trump diligently prepared acts working from a script (e.g., Verve Pipe).

Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar
Scott Ligon - electric guitar; piano
KC McDonough - electric bass
Alex Hall - drums
Fighting Back [KC McDonough] (KM)
"Take Me Back Sally" [?] (RF)
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes [Johnny Burnette; Dorsey Burnette; Paul Burlison; Al Mortimer] (SL)
Cry To Me [Bert Russell] (KM)
The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton] (RF)
Love's Gonna Live Here [Buck Owens] (SL)
Mystery Dance [Elvis Costello] (KM)
E Quando Muoio Io [trad.] (RF)
This Love Is True [NRBQ] (SL)
It's Now Or Never [Eduardo di Capua] (KM)
I Push Right Over (RF)
Just One More [George Jones] (SL)
Fist City [Loretta Lynn] (KM)
I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF)
Li'l Ole Kiss of Fire [Lester Allen & Robert Hill/Homer & Jethro] (SL)
Purple Rain [Prince] (KM)
Please, Please Me [John Lennon; Paul McCartney] (RF)
Animal Life [Scott Ligon] (SL)
Somethin' Else [Eddie Cochran; Sharon Sheeley] (KM)
Train Of Life [Merle Haggard] (RF)
Tennessee (modified to include references to the guys on stage) [Carl Perkins] (SL/KM)
Twilight Time [Buck Ram; Mortie Nevins; Artie Dunn] (KM/SL)
There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] (RF)
Don't Laugh [Revin "Rebe" Gosdin] (SL)
Go Now [Larry Banks, Milton Bennett] (KM)
Billy Jean [Michael Jackson] (RF)
Sister Golden Hair [Gerry Beckley/America] (SL)

E Quando Muoio Io

Li'l Ole Kiss Of Fire

Purple Rain

Sister Golden Hair

September 27 - with Jenny Scheinman (Sex and Violins)
Well, what about this Sunday at the Old Town School of Folk Music? If you came to see me and a dark-eyed lady who plays the violin like no one else living now or before, you wouldn't be disappointed, just a little crazy; because the main and proper attraction is Ms. Connie Smith, the incomparable genius of country music. Some fellow said to me not long ago: "Chuck Berry -- I love the whole thing -- the music, the lyrics, the peeing on women." That's how I feel about Connie Smith. I like the repertoire ("Cincinnati, Ohio" and two dozen other hits that encapsulate the grown-up melancholy and the dewy innocence, or so it looks now, of 1970), the pitch-perfection, the good-lookingness and poise, the soul and the control. Even, the post below notwithstanding, the witnessing to Jesus. Yes, it's the whole thing I love and nothing less; and though our generation's connection to a certain era, when dressed-up entertainers stood in tents and village meeting-halls before ordinary unglamorous citizens giving stentorian voice to their angels and demons, has not yet been sundered, surely it soon must be, in which eventuality you will deeply regret not having seen Connie Smith deliver an impeccable show in September 2010, where she sang all your feelings as you would if you had had the lungs.

As with that sentence, you will need to clear your head after the Connie show. How better than to see me and the violinist, whose name rhymes with Any Fine Hen, shake up the Hideout on Monday the 27th with Robbie Gjersoe alongside, making it all more jocular and mentally turbulent than it would be. This trio offered one of the Hideout's most insanely marvelous Monday nights of the year back in August, so come on out either to see what you missed or to swim senilely in the warm pool of memory.

?? instrumental
The Palms Of Maracaibo [Lionel Belasco]
Goodbye Girls, I'm Going To Boston [trad.]
Guess I Got It Wrong
Just A Child [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Hot Fingers [Lonnie Johnson]
The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton]
Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Bottle Up And Go [Huddie Ledbetter] (RG)
Houston [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Waiting On These New Things To Go
Dance The Night Away [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Eight More Miles To Louisville [Grandpa Jones]
God Isn't Real (RF & RG)
My Old Man [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
?? instrumental
Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS)
Bringin' In The Georgia Mail [Fred Rose]

Hot Fingers


God Isn't Real

October 4 - with Nora O'Connor (The Bramble and The Rose)
Duo with Nora O'Connor. Country, folk, and bluegrass. Come on by after work.
Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO)
Gone Like The Water [Freedy Johnston] (NO)
I'll Trade You Money For Wine
I've Never Been So Lonesome [Ted Lundy]
Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO)
So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO)
The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [Mac Wiseman]
Because You Can
The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] (NO)
God's Not Dead [trad.] (RF & NO)
Georgia Boys [trad.] > Indian Creek [trad. famous by Arthur Smith]
My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO)
Nightingale [James Mathus] (O)
I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock famous by Conway Twitty] (RF & NO)
Parallel Bars (RF & NO)
Heart, I Wish You Were Here
Your Motion Says [Arthur Russell] (NO)
Goodbye Virginia
Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Flatt & Scruggs]

Gone Like The Water

God's Not Dead

Georgia Boys > Indian Creek

October 11 - with full band (Thelonious Monk vs. The Monkees)
A 4-piece band explores the superficially (as well as deeply) nutty concept: Monk vs. Monkees. We'll be doing versions of some better-known songs of each, as well as mashing the two together in unexpected ways. I don't think there are that many musicians around that can convincingly touch on both these styles, with feeling and vigor, but I've got a stellar cast playing with me on Monday -- I won't say who, but if you've seen many of my Hideout shows then you've probably seen them. The piano will be played some, for obvious reasons, but not too much, for almost equally obvious reasons.

Cramming my hillbilly head with Monk heads all week has been like a refreshing but disorienting holiday. (First time out for that sentence.) The appreciation I've long had for him, as a casual fan, and a guy who could play only a couple of his tunes on the guitar, has deepened as I've learned more and somewhat harder tunes (knew "Blue Monk," for instance, but didn't know "Think Of One"), read a little about him, and reflected on his gift and his accomplishment. With the caveat that I know jazz about like Pat Boone knows metal, I'll throw caution to the wind and tell you some of what I'm thinking.

It seems that only so much can be said about Monk's mastery before the red-flag words, like "peculiar," start to color the discussion. ("Genius" is a related backhanded euphemism, as Gary Giddins notes in his typically keen and educational appraisal, collected in Visions of Jazz. Not far from there to the wide-eyed neighbor on the 11 o'clock news meaningfully intoning, "He was always a loner.") So, to give proper stress to what's primary about Monk at the risk of banality -- he invented a fresh and wonderful way of playing his instrument, and wrote a few dozen of the great songs of the twentieth century. In both, instrument al technique and composition, he drew on the same bag of homemade tools; "percussive touch, concentrated dissonances, bold rests," Giddins's six-word phrase, looks irreducibly complete to me. If you try to list other musical pioneers who made similarly prodigious contributions in the realms of instrument and song, you'll see that "peculiar" doesn't come into it -- the list is really too short to be subdivided, or to suggest norms.

Onto the odd. One of the things you notice about learning the head of, say, "Straight, No Chaser," is that effect of those goddamned rests, and the displacements of and tiny variations on a childishly simple five-note phrase, is to make the 12-bar head quite frustrating, the first day or two, to get lodged in your fingers and mind. Whereas one of the things you notice about having learned it is that the rests and displacements feel exactly right. You could hardly think of another way to do it. It sits in your head, germinating and generating new "meanings."

This kind of qualified learnability -- at cost and concluding in unforgettability -- is, everywhere and always, the hallmark of a great composition. That includes the one-or-two-days part. Tunes you can learn in an hour are as often as not trivial, and any random group of notes on a page of staff music can be internalized in a week. But it'll take you a day or two, if you haven't heard it, to commit Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," or Raymond Scott's "Bumpy Weather Over Newark," to memory; and once you do, you're a richer person for the trouble.

That the building blocks of all these beautiful songs are sharp 11's and wild interval leaps and startling out-of-the-blue chord clusters is a bit of a mystery. I mean that when you put it on paper like that, or when you try it yourself, as many pianists after Monk have, all those devices appear as the pinnacle of uncreativity: gimmickry, a short cut (as Coleman Hawkins referred to Coltrane's technique), an easy retort against lushness and the obligation to tradition. I guess that it comes down to Monk's having made his own world, there on 63rd Street. He sealed himself off from European and scholastic influences with determination, according to Giddins. The vocabulary that resulted is accordingly sealed-off, imaginary-universe-like. But the heads in which it's put to use are as pretty as "White Christmas," as simple as classic TV themes, and -- the entrancing paradox -- as logical as either.

Something a musician friend said about Monk's soloing: he plays with all of the knowledge and none of the experience. I think that's pretty profound, and nails it. Listen to Monk come upon, as he often does, a pair of notes he likes, and repeat them joyously seven times, like a kid dabbling with color. To know as much as he knew, but to be able wipe away the experiential crust, to summon the sincere joy, each time you sat down before the keys...it would take some kind of two-brained lunatic.

On my XM show a couple years ago I made a farfetched remark relating Monk and Doc Watson -- both Carolina boys. I know the Internet is no place for reckless, out-on-a-limb speculating. And I know that Thelonious left North Carolina at age 4, or 6, depending on whether you go by the New York Times or Giddins. But Monk and Watson, born 5 years apart, must have listened to a lot of the same music when they were young. Country Monk -- untrammeled ground, but really not so crazy. People from the country hold music in a different light than people from the city. Country people are more immune to the fashionable, to shiny new concepts flown in from abroad and trumpeted in glossy journals. Country people don't care so much what you make of them -- they are likelier to wear the hat they want and dance when they feel like. And most of all, country people are not easy to shake from the conviction that music is inseparable from fun. Hot, wild, sexy, unvarnished fun. What long odds against a guy with Monk's considerable handicaps -- absent father, racist society, dismissive professional peers, banishment from professional work in NYC clubs for most of his peak years, the usual philistinism of the record-buying public -- giving the world something 1) new 2) beautiful 3) insidiously grammatical 4) fun. But that's what happened.

As for the Monkees -- they're included in all this only by cheap syllabic coincidence -- I guess that shit is okay.

(missed for A.A. Bondy)

October 18 - with Kathleen Keane (Robbie Goes Irish)
Did I mention my deep Irish roots? There's a good reason I didn't. But on Monday, with my dear friend Kathleen Keane and Jim Conway, who I only met once briefly in an airport lounge, I'll be all pink hearts, orange stars, yellow moons, &c. Lots of whistle, fiddle, harmonica, guitar, and misty-eyed singing; lots of me trying to keep up with Kathleen's tempos too. She played in the renowned band Gaelic Storm, has a good feel for the world of song outside the borders of Eire, writes well, and looks good. That's why, this Monday at the Hideout, "If you're a Mick/Around you will stick."
Kathleen Keane - fiddle; tin whistle
Jim Conway - harmonica; tin whistle
Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar
?? instrumental 1 > ?? instrumental 2
Little Annie (a/k/a When The Springtime Comes Again) [trad.]
Where The Wind Meets The Water [Kathleen Keane] (KK)
Fixing To Fall
On A Real Good Day
Garry Owen > The Connaughtman's Rambles [trad.]
I Like Being Left Alone
Down The Road [Lester Flatt]
Wild Mountain Thyme [William McPeake] (KK)
Banks of the Marianne
The Golden Stud > The Banshee > The Monahan Twig [trad.] [Robbie sits out]
Chris Mills Is Living The Dream [Chris Mills]
Coal Miner's Reel > Speed the Plow > The Rainy Day [trad.]
Galway [Oliver St. John Gogarty/Tony Small] (KK)
In Bristol Town One Bright Day
Hand Me Down My Walking Cane [trad.]
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling [Ernest Ball] (KK)
?? instrumental

Fixin' To Fall

Garry Owen > The Connaughtman's Rambles

Chris Mills Is Living The Dream

Hand Me Down My Walking Cane

October 25 - with Justin Roberts (Down With Children)
Last year I caught Justin Roberts and his band at Symphony Space in NYC. It was great! He's the first kids' performer I've seen who just does his thing without great affect -- doesn't jump around mugging like a retarded clown, doesn't look like he's too cool for school, doesn't wink-wink at the parents...just stands and delivers. As a writer he manages to dig up fresh yet broadly resonant themes of childhood experience ("Picture Day," "Stay-at-Home Dad," "Obsessed By Trucks"), and he seems actually to care for his characters. He was a Montessori teacher who kind of stumbled into the business, unlike the typical children's music act, which...you know. But why am I telling you all this? If you're a bobo-class parent with a five-year-old around the house, then Justin is "more popular than Jesus Christ." As for what I'm gonna do with him and his band this Monday (some kids' music will definitely happen, but please do not bring your kid), you'll have to be present.
Robbie Fulks - acoustic & electric guitar
Justin Roberts - acoustic guitar
Gerald Dowd - drums
Liam Davis - bass & piano
Specially written show intro (RF & JR sing)
Willy (Davis) & Timothy (Dowd) puppets converse with Robbie
Specially written show intro pt. 2 (RF & JR sing)
Taking Off My Training Wheels [Justin Roberts] (JR sings)
Never Getting Lost [Justin Roberts] (RF sings)
Obsessed By Trucks [Justin Roberts] (RF sings)
Let's Kill Saturday Night (JR sings)
For India [Justin Roberts] (JR sings)
Godfrey (JR sings)
Moving [Justin Roberts] (RF sings)
Guess I Got It Wrong (JR sings)
Trick Or Treat [Justin Roberts] (JR sings; Robbie sits out)
Picture Day [Justin Roberts] (RF sings)
Sign My Cast [Justin Roberts] (duet - Donna Fulks on vocals, Liam Davis on piano)
I Know You Will [Justin Roberts] (JR sings)
Fruit Jar [Justin Roberts] (JR sings)
Mad At A Girl (JR sings)
Suppertime [Justin Roberts] (RF sings)
Stone River (JR sings)
Specially written show closer (RF & JR sing)

Never Getting Lost

Obsessed By Trucks

Guess I Got It Wrong

Fruit Jar

November 1 - with Robbie Gjersoe
A duo with Robbie Gjersoe. A lot of these Monday shows haven't been featuring music I've written, so I'll catch up a bit with that. We'll also play some of our favorites from the different Monday configurations in which we've both figured throughout the year, like our trios with Jenny Scheinman and Beau Sample and John Abbey, and the Monk/Monkees night. A handful of new songs as well, and some requests would be nice.

The Chicago Sun-Times is running a piece about musical residencies in this Sunday's paper, and it seems a lot of the focus will be on my Hideout series. Personally I think having a regular room to play music in one night a week, a stream of various incoming collaborators, and a little group of quiet citizens to listen to it satisfies 90% of what I want from music performance, now and for the rest of my days. What does the missing 10% consist of? Income, high-concept pageantry, ass-shaking rock-and-roll with drumkit, and quantity (50 shows a year doesn't quite do it for me). But the fact that all those concerns and desiderata, even money, are crammed into that little pie slice shows how much things change, or, it might be more accurate to say, how much they regress. As a young adult I found the romantic prospects of 200 nights on the road and a catalog of recordings paid for and distributed by prestigious companies to be strong motivators (and, I have to admit, celebrity and pussy did flit into one's head from time to time). As a 10-year-old or a near-50-year-old, though, the excitement is mainly generated by learning good new music, working on chops, and finding people whose talents and perspectives may put you in a relationship of mutual advantage. The music itself trumps the driving and the drinking and the fucking. This could be due to senility, or self-justification. I'm not bragging, just describing.

Maybe this is a good moment to say as a coda to the above, in case anyone is still interested and reading, that my series will be continuing next year and in fact indefinitely. I'd quit if I moved from the Chicago area, or Tim and Katie stopped wanting me at their club, or enough people stopped showing, but it's proved a good regular situation, so why change. Well, there are actually a couple reasons why. There's been a few people that come every week (!), and I suspect (actually, they've said as much) that their insanely loyal attendance is based partly on an idea of scarcity, the residency being something special that won't go on always so love it while it lasts. While I don't want to let them down, and some kind of self-rationing, pace my friend Jon Langford, has to be exercised to keep your value from completely eroding, I'm liking the engagement too much, and getting too much out of it, to stop myself out of canniness.

One aspect will be modified next year, though, and that's the hardcore blue-plate-special ethos. I don't think I have enough friends to draw from among people who live here or are passing through on a tour to plug in 52 Mondays a year; and learning an hour and a half of new music every week is hard. But the main and the positive reason that I want to focus on a finite, rotating set of groupings is that I would rather go deep than wide. I feel sure it will be much more productive to play more frequently with people like Nora O'Connor and Don Stiernberg and Gerald Dowd and Robbie and Beau and Jenny, people with whom I have established good working ties, than to extend the preoccupation with variety programming. So in 2011 I'm going to concentrate on a half-dozen or so duos, trios and quartets, with an occasional conceptual night, as I did this year covering Slow Train Coming, paying tribute to Alex Chilton, and mashing up Monk and the Monkees. Those nights were way fun. Fun has to be a factor.

?? instrumental
Where There's A Road
Real Money
Hillman [Benny Martin]
The Beaumont Rag [trad.]
Molly And Tenbrooks [trad.]
On The Corner Of I Love And You
Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich]
Country Boy Rock And Roll [Don Reno]
I Like Being Left Alone
Well You Needn't [Thelonious Monk]
Jelly Roll [Charles Mingus]
Pacific Slope [trad.]
Sleeping On The Job Of Love
That's Where I'm From
The World Is Full Of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too)
White Lightning [Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. a/k/a The Big Bopper]
Big Mon [Bill Monroe]


On The Corner Of I Love And You

Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs

Well You Needn't

November 15 - with Don Stiernberg (semi-erect duo)
Don Stiernberg plays and sings with me.
Roving Gambler [trad.] (DS)
Tears Only Run One Way
Foggy Mountain Top [trad.]
The Cherokee Maiden [Cindy Walker, famous by Bob Wills] (DS)
Caravan [Juan Tizol, famous by Duke Ellington]
Forgotten But Not Gone
Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar [Delmore Brothers]
There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight [Hank Williams] (DS)
The Dill Pickle Rag [Charles L. Johnson]
Hank [Roswell Rudd]
Where There's A Road
Over The Hill To The Poor House [George L. Catlin & Dave Braham, famous by Flatt & Scruggs] (DS)
Body and Soul [Virginia Stauffer, famous by Bill Monroe] (DS)
Rock Bottom, Pop. 1
I Like Being Left Alone
Away Out On The Old Saint Sabbath [The Carter Family/public domain]
Lady Be Good [George Gershwin] (DS)
Memphis Women and Chicken [Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson]


Forgotten But Not Gone

Over The Hill To The Poor House

I Like Being Left Alone

November 22 - with Scott & Chris Ligon and Jubal Fulks (Brothers vs. Brothers)
Brothers on brothers! The Ligons (Chris, Scott) in a death match against the Fulkses (Jubal, etc.)! The details of the competitive aspect are under discussion as of this writing, but count on lots of music. Jubal's a classical violinist, I'm a country guitarist, Scott is a retro-pop multi-instrumentalist, and Chris has some murky, ungovernable relationship with the keyboard and music generally. This raises an obvious question about our quartet, and the answer is, "God only knows."
Robbie Fulks - acoustic & electric guitar, banjo
Jubal Fulks - violin
Chris Ligon - keyboard, piano, banjo, upright bass, bongos
Scott Ligon - acoustic & electric guitar, upright bass, piano, accordion, ukulele, bongos, kick drum
initials indicate who played on that song if it was not all four
sorry for such a poor job at coming up with a set list

brother vs. brother match introduction - non musical
Family Feud individual introductions emceed by Donna Fulks - non musical
Halfwit [Chris Ligon] (Chris Ligon sings)
?? "Here she comes that girl in yellow" [Chris Ligon] (CL)
I'll Trade You Money For Wine (RF)
?? "That makes me a fool" [?] (SL)
?? a ballade [Eugene Ysaye] (JF)
?? "Bump to the head" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
Look At The Birdy [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
?? "three little gals have just come out of mammy, little ol' Miss Wynette says let's name them all Tammy" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
Different From Each Other [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
Look Around It's Finally Springtime [?] (CL, SL)
?? "I took me a ride to candy mountain" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
?? "Bluebirds of Michigan" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL)
?? instrumental (CL, SL)
?? [Sergey Prokofiev] (RF, JF)
?? "I am no kindly Christian, sweet heaven knows not my ways" (new, unfinished song) [Robbie Fulks] (RF-v, JF)
Common Law Cabin (RF-v, JF)
Bury The Bottle With Me [Hank Cochran/Darrell McCall] (RF-v, JF)
Brotherlywed game (based on The Newlywed game) emceed by Donna Fulks - non musical
Pluto (Robbie & Scott Ligon sing)
Fun [Chris Ligon; added to by Robbie Fulks] (Chris, Jubal, and Robbie sing)
We'll Burn Together
After The Masquerade [Chris Ligon] (Chris Ligon & Robbie sing)
?? "Look at me now, I'm on my feet " "before the spirit moved my legs were just two useless hunks of meat" [Chris Ligon] (CL)
?? instrumental

Sergey Prokofiev piece

new(ish) song


After The Masquerade

November 29 - with band (the art and music of Mike Fredrickson)
A salute to Mike Fredrickson's music and art. More than a few of my favorite pop songs of the last 15 years were written and performed by the Milwaukee musician and painter Mike Fredrickson, whether with his group the Mosleys or under his name. I first stumbled across his sweetly melodic, jittery-tempoed recordings in Nashville, at the home of John Sieger, so for me it's a nice touch that John's stopping by to sing a number Monday. At some point I became aware that Mike was also an excellent photorealist painter. It might have been the first time I played at Milwaukee's version of the Broken Spoke Saloon, the Uptowner, where Mike is a celebrity and whose walls are bedecked, or used to be anyway, with his garish, gimlet-eyed, homely-beauty-loving brushwork. It'll be a 5-piece band playing 14 of his songs over at the Hideout. Mike won't be in the band, but he'll be on hand to talk about his paintings, and several of them will be hanging at the Hideout for a limited time as an exhibition. As a three-time Christmas Fredrickson special-commissioner, I can tell you that they make unbelievable holiday gifts!
Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar, bass, banjo
Gerald Dowd - drums, acoustic guitar
Grant Tye - electric guitar
KC McDonough - bass, keyboard, tambourine, drums
Robbie Gjersoe - electric guitar; bass
initials after song indicates who sung

Sleeping On The Beach [Mike Fredrickson] (RF)
Two Lane Highway [Mike Fredrickson] (GT)
Housework [Mike Fredrickson]
Listen Venus [Mike Fredrickson] (GT)
Don’t Leave Me Now [Mike Fredrickson] (GD)
The Book [Mike Fredrickson] (RF)
I Don’t Care [Mike Fredrickson] (w/o Robbie) (GD)
Isn’t Love Strange [Mike Fredrickson] (GD)
Bukowski [Mike Fredrickson] (RF)
Patti Smith [Mike Fredrickson] (KM)
Up A Lazy River [Mike Fredrickson] (GD)
Anything You Want [Mike Fredrickson] (GT)
interview with Mike Fredrickson
Wouldn’t That Be Wonderful [Mike Fredrickson] (RF & MF)
Cecille [Mike Fredrickson] (MF)
“just want to feel like any other guy” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo)
“I made myself a rope” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo)
“you’re the one for me” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo)
Never Could [Robbie Fulks/Mike Fredrickson] (RF)
Mike Fredrickson was only on stage from the interview to the end

Listen Venus

The Book

Isn't Love Strange

Wouldn't That Be Wonderful

December 6 - with horn section (Me so horny!)
"Me So Horny." This will be the biggest Hideout show so far, in terms of onstage personnel -- 4-man horn section and rhythm section -- not necessarily talent or emotional intensity. Time Out Chicago has this to offer: "The groan-inducing title of tonight's program, Me So Horny!, is just another way of spelling out the fact that Fulks has enlisted a horn section to do his folk-rock bidding." Hey, fuckers! "Tonight's program," indeed. The cover of the magazine in question has a sideways picture of a young man with a 2-day beard, chubby cheeks, and uncombed hair, wearing a Desi Arnaz expression of "Lu-u-u-cy!" comic bemusement; the caption below him says, "Andrew Mason is about to change the way you shop -- again." So I assume Time Out is seeking to enlist a large army of overprivileged lily-white urban trendriders to do its idiotic-conspicuous-consumption bidding, and that that depressing seasonal spectacle is less groan-inducing than an aggressively idiotic pun. But, upon inspection of the issue's contents, idiot puns are perhaps not at issue after all. A story about an art gallery is titled "Framing the Issue." "True Brit" is the drop-dead bit of brilliance adorning an article on an English chef. Headline for a piece on the star of a reality show called The Vice Guide to Everything -- beat the groany editors to this one if you can: "Vice Cop"! A pictorial on holiday parties is called "Wear It's At." For tips on recycling everyday household goods, "Tossed and Found" was deemed a corker. A quick flip through the rest of the rag reveals (you don't need to know the story subjects to enjoy these delicious wordplays) "Clothes Encounter," "(Face) Time Machine," "Presidential Selection," "Gospel Untruths" (a groan unducer!), "Purple Reign," and "Buke and Gass." Oh, that's a band name, but, ha ha ha: after you get inured to the parade of whimsical phraselets, even non-puns look a lot like puns. See if Buke and Gass what I'm thinking!

What I'm thinking is that at next Monday's show, I'll read the long list of all the worse wordplays I discarded on my way to "Me So Horny!," which, the La Rochefoucaulds at People Magazine for Dummies notwithstanding, still makes me chortle.

Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar, banjo
Gerald Dowd - drums
KC McDonough - bass
Nate Lepine - saxophone
? - trumpet
? - trombone

?? instrumental
Big Mouth USA [Jim Ford]
Brenda's New Stepfather
I Couldn't Say It To Your Face [Arthur Russell]
Moe Hawk [Jenny Scheinman]
My Love [Geraint Watkins]
Are You Wasting My Time [The Louvin Brothers]
Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (Gerald Dowd sings)
The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.]
They Want Me Here [request - 1st verse & chorus only as he couldn't remember the next verse]
Try Leaving [request]
That's A Good Enough Reason [Benny Martin]
You're The Cream In My Coffee [Ray Henderson/Buddy DeSylva/Lew Brown]
Jelly Roll [Charles Mingus]
Bloodshot's Turning Five
I Died Today [Rodd Keith]
Think Of One [Thelonious Monk]

Big Mouth USA

I Couldn't Say It To Your Face

My Love

Bloodshot's Turning Five

December 13 - with Kelly Hogan (Let's make love)
Well, 2010 has been a pretty decent year for ole Robbie, and Hideoutwise it couldn't be coming to a more boffo climax, with two of American music's most golden-throated vixens joining me seriatim. This Monday it's Kelly Hogan, who, when she's not adding sparkle to the many-splendored programs of Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Neko Case, the Flat Five, and Lynda Barry, is busy going quietly insane in her rural Wisconsin bunker. Come catch some of the pre-holiday madness -- nope, I see from the sidebar that insanity is the wrong metaphor. The evening's hook is lovemakin'. That's the term for what we do out here in our quiet little towns and rural bunkers, while you in your fancy metropolises conjugate. Expect a good strong dose of Conway Twitty, Emmett Miller, Porter and Dolly, and, if someone is good enough to send a carboy of rye to the stage, a brief tribute to the fashion innovations of Mr. Gordie Tapp. Let me just finish with a "bottom line," in the style of mass-market magazines for harried consumers. "Bottom line: Ignore the overheated and opaque website prose, come listen to Kelly Hogan sing."
Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night [Conway Twitty]
We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds [Earl Montgomery famous by George Jones & Melba Montgomery]
Better Move It On Home [Ray Griff famous by Dolly Parton & Porter Wagonner]
Waiting On These New Things To Go
There's An Open Door Waiting For Me [James & Martha Carson]
Big Mouth USA [Jim Ford]
I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still) [Don Reno/Mack Magaha]
There's More Pretty Girls Than One [Arthur Smith]
You're The Cream In My Coffee [Emmett Miller]
The Gypsy [Emmett Miller]
Flowers [Billy Yates]
Farewell Party [Gene Watson]
You Know Just What I'd Do [Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn]
What Kind Of Girl Are You [Ray Charles]
Goodbye Virginia
You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly [Lola Jean Dillion/L.E. White famous by Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty]
After Closing Time [Billy Sherrill/Danny Walls/Norris Wilson famous by Barbara Mandrell & David Houston]

Waiting On These New Things To Go

I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still)

There's More Pretty Girls Than One


You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly

December 27 - with Nora O'Connor (Xmas hangover duo)
No show description from Robbie
Up From Under [Jakob Dylan] (NO)
I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock] (RF & NO)
The Lost Indian [trad.]
Because You Can
Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO)
Flame In My Heart [George Jones]
So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO)
The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson]
God's Not Dead [trad.]
Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO)
I’ll Trade You Money For Wine
Nightingale [James Mathus]
How Mountain Girls Can Love [The Stanley Brothers]
I’ll Try [Lefty Frizzell] (NO)
Heart, I Wish You Were Here
My Backyard [Nora O’Connor] (NO)
Georgia Boys > Indian Creek [trad.]
The Little Brown Church in the Vale [William S. Pitts]
Goodbye, Virginia
Gone Like The Water [Freedy Johnston] (NO)

I'll Trade You Money For Wine


How Mountain Girls Can Love

The Little Brown Church In The Vale

And that wraps up 2010 (31 out of 38 shows for me). I hope to post a summary of the year in a separate journal entry. Even though his residency will continue next year, I don't expect that I'll continue to keep a running journal on it. But you can always search youtube for "Robbie Fulks" as I will keep posting videos there.


  • heatherc

    He's an amazing guitar player, which these acoustic shows have really been showing off. Hope it encourages your playing. Last night's show was the most eclectic yet.

    Mai 4 2010, 12h57
  • efsb

    Wow...this is going to keep me busy for a while. Hope you make it to all the rest....wish I could make it to one...!!

    Jun 14 2010, 16h44
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