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Robbie Fulks: Georgia Hard

Robbie Fulks: Georgia Hard

Label:Yep Roc
Release Date:2005

By Robbie Whelan | Posted 6/29/2005

One by one, the songs on Robbie Fulks’ sixth album, Georgia Hard, reveal that the veteran songwriter is without a sense of place and longing for a home. “Where There’s a Road”—one part travel-bug ramble, one part memoir, one part Brad Paisley’s “Get a Little Mud on the Tires”—sets the restless tone. “Since I been gone it’s been one long goodbye/ wired to the wheel and bound to no one,” Fulks sings before insisting that wherever you are, “there’s always a way out.”

It’s always been this way for Fulks. Ostracized for his infamous 1997 Nashville salute, “Fuck This Town,” and dubbed “alternative” and “retro” for his aversion to Tim McGraw-esque arena country, the Chicago-based singer has never found an audience that is as comfortable with him as he is with old-school Music City. On Georgia, the anti-Nashvillean channels every jukebox demagogue he can think of, from pre-cocaine George Jones (“Leave It to a Loser” and “All You Can Cheat”) to Opry star John Hartford (“If They Could Only See Me Now”) to Gram Parsons (“I Never Did Like Planes” is the spitting image of “The New Soft Shoe”).

His knack with classic country styles and his wry wordcraft create songs that are filthy with familiar sentiments, regardless of whether he’s wondering if it’s wrong to live off of his rich wife or drunkenly hitting on a woman that he has forgotten is his wife. Wherever he is, Fulks’ confusion is beautiful.

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