Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jun 02, 2012 at 07:00 PM
ImageThe anticipation was high for Rose & I, months in advance, when we knew John Fullbright would be coming to Conroe House Concerts in the cool mecca called Conroe, Texas. After all, we had been to two of these fine gigs already seeing Eliza Gilkyson and Butch Hancock, but those were both indoors.

This one was held outside and it was a killer set up with over 60 folks attending very comfortably. The tree ladened backyard sprawled beside the pool and the potluck that took place always rules at these concerts. Their slogan ; “Not a business…..just people who love good music!” fits them to a tee! ( info@conroehouseconcerts.com )

Mr.Fullbright got our attention when he paired with Matt Harlan back in January 2011 at yet another house gig in Houston.  This was our 4th time to catch him and after he stole the show at Folk Alliance in Memphis at Will Sexton’s “Wine & Nut Room” we were geeked to see him perform his new masterpiece “from the ground up” on Blue Dirt Records.

It is rare when a performer can duplicate his live persona onto his CD like JF has done with this disc. Stunning songs like “Gawd Above” start it off and you can just see Fullbright’s red faced delivery as he strains with veins poppin’ out to display the passion of his lyrics. After a minor vocal problem the gig was mesmerizingly good. John leaned heavily on the new CD as well he should.

Blazingly good ones like “Satan and St Paul”, “Ain’t Nobody’s Busines” which is a tune that is over twenty years old and he did it like his own, and “Fatman” had Leon Redbone written all over it. This guy’s soulful growl has an emotional uniqueness that is just plain bad ass. His lil boy haircut makes him look a lot younger than his 24 years, but his singing style and delivery belie his years big time. His deadpan humorous take on life is epic.

Image“Bring You Down” hit home when lyric about ‘nothing brings you down like your hometown’ was uttered. Whether he was tickling the keys with efficient ease or blowin’ his brains out on the harp, Fullbright just delivers the mail on time.

After a sixty minute opening set JF took a break and came back even more revved up.  “Jericho” has a classic wail to it that stuck with me for days after the show.

“Nowhere To Be Found” was a tender cut and “Song For A Child” ended the evening. A two song encore ensued and the fitting lyrics that also stayed with us were: “Don’t worry about gasoline, don’t worry about nothing at all”!  A fitting way to end a gig that came with high expectations and delivered.

John Fullbright really has no set “style” you can label his music with. Go see him perform and you be the judge. As he dubbed himself to me at FAI : “I’m a musical barnacle” who gravitates to good sidekicks no matter where he plays. It is beyond refreshing to see a young man draw on both the past and make his own stamp on the present in providing a worthwhile musical experience for all.  What more can you ask?  Thanks again to Betty, Seth, Jody, Lester, Shiela, Mike, Nancy, and Pat for what you do! Until the “next” one, I’m out………