2012–2013 has been a groundbreaking period for John Fullbright, and the Grammy nomination for “From The Ground Up” was just one of many highlights. Since its release in May 2012, Fullbright’s first studio album has garnered high praise from peers and pundits alike, making the young Oklahoman the most talked emerging singer/songwriter in music today. In December, Jimmy Webb presented John with the prestigious ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Writing Award, calling John “one of the best writers I have heard in a long, long time.” Earlier in the year, John was invited to sing for the Chuck Berry Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Tribute. While the rest of the cast strapped on Fender guitars, John played “Downbound Train” on piano as Chuck sat twenty feet away.
Born in Bearden, Oklahoma, Fullbright went to school in nearby Okemah, also the hometown of Woody Guthrie. It was at the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival that John first started to make a name for himself in the picking circles on the festival campgrounds. In 2009, John burst upon the southwest music scene with a stellar live album recorded at Oklahoma City’s renowned Blue Door, a venerable Oklahoma venue that Fullbright has used as his home away from home.
In “From the Ground Up,” Fullbright traverses an emotional and musical terrain that is extremely broad, showing equal acuity with tender ballads and songs that make you want to drive faster with the windows rolled down. Fullbright’s earliest songwriting heroes, Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury, infuse this record, but so do Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, and many of Fullbright’s songwriting compatriots from Oklahoma and Texas. Firmly rooted in a variety of musical styles, he draws on what has come before, but without imitation. Forget labels when you listen to John Fullbright. He is not folk, not Americana and not pop, but possibly the best fusion of them all.
From the fertile ground of Oklahoma, another songwriting legend may be blooming.
He’s been on the road almost nonstop for the last year and a half, but he’s coming home, for three nights. On December 19, 20 and 21, John will preview songs from his upcoming 2014 release, as well as favorites from the Grammy-nominated From The Ground Up.
Each show will be a little different:
– On Dec. 19, John will take the stage solo, performing on acoustic guitar and baby grand piano.
– On Dec. 20, John will be joined by the incomparable Terry “Buffalo” Ware.
– And on Dec. 21, it’ll be the entire John Fullbright Band: John, Buffalo, David Leach on bass and Giovanni “Nooch” Carnuccio III on drums and percussion.