YEP 2125 CD
***Revenge! is the new release from Robbie Fulks, a 2-disc, 23-track "live record" that invests that term with fresh thinking. One disc stars the songwriter's ferociously rocking four-man road band (and interpolates sound check and studio-grown material). The other has Robbie in an acoustic cabaret setting, and highlights his Carolina-bred flat picking and communicative dynamism. Together they form a singular document of the country contrarian's musical range - rock, bluegrass, honky-tonk, jazz - and spontaneity. Half the tracks are new (“Fixin' to Fall” with Casey Driessen's mind-altering violin; a flailing Carter Family drive-by with silken-throated Kelly Hogan at the wheel, an emotional read on Cher's “Believe”), and all are newly fired, with an ideal blend of audiophile clarity and on-the-spot joy. More than sweet, Revenge! is a mid-career summation and vital addition from an artist who still looks curiously forward, and works best without a script.