News of the Week: Mar. 23, 2012

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Here are some folks who were talking about John this week.

SXSW

“This young Oklahoman’s name was on everybody’s lips, touted for singing moving songs in a voice that’s slow, lonesome and haunting. His performance of “All That You Know” at the Wine & Nut Room, a nightly showcase spot, was a special moment.” — American Songwriter

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“Fullbright’s SXSW showcase — the first of eight gigs he has here this week — was as perfect as if it were a Jonathan Demme concert film. … Fullbright synthesizes the best songcraft from his home state — Webb, Leon Russell and, by default, Merle Haggard. … He’s got a tune called “Forgotten Flower[s],” a thoughtful country lament, that Tom Waits and Randy Newman could fight over.” — Thomas Conner, Chicago Sun-Times

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“Another name likely to gain traction in songwriting circles is that of John Fullbright. … A mild-mannered dude with a guitar and a harmonica rack, Fullbright draws from surprising emotional depths for well-crafted songs that prick and caress, swinging between Merle Haggard country, Leon Russell songcraft and a rustic sense of the blues.” — Chicago Sun-Times

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“Young Okie singer-songwriter John Fullbright is from Okemah, also the hometown of Woody Guthrie. Fullbright’s brand of so-called red dirt music is akin to contemporary masters Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury, brimming with vivid images and sandpapered poetry.” — Jim Caligiuri, The Austin Chronicle

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“Perhaps one of the most talented troubadours to come out of Oklahoma in a generation, this Okemah native bears the legacy of Woody Guthrie quite lightly. Only in his early 20s, Fullbright writes songs with the insight of someone much older — and his expressive voice is lined with the weight of years not yet lived.” — Preston Jones, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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“I’ve rhapsodized about young Mr. Fullbright before in this space, but I’m here to tell you that he really is that good; getting better, too. His performance, in the sanctuary of a church, was exponentially better than the very impressive show I saw him play in Raleigh last year. He’s starting to seem like a rough-edged Lyle Lovett or a smoother James McMurtry, crafting genius-level wordplay that he sings in a sandpaper yowl that grabs you by the throat. “Jericho” and “Me Wanting You” were frightfully powerful.” — David Menconi, The Raleigh News-Observer

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“Simply put, he knocked me sideways. He’s all of 23 years old, but he sings like a man who’s lived to be 70. His debut LP, From the Ground Up, arrives in May, and if there’s any justice, Fullbright will become a rising star because of it. His expressive guitar work aside, Fullbright’s lyrical abilities will take your breath away. He’s the real deal, an emissary of Oklahoma-bred folk music, and someone anyone who cares at all about music would do well to keep tabs on.” — Preston Jones, DFW.com

Thanks to MoPac Media for the great video!

And Elsewhere…

Best in Folk, Oklahoma Gazette‘s 2012 Woody Awards — The Oklahoma Gazette

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“It’s hard to compare Fullbright’s songwriting with anyone’s today. There’s real truth and sincerity to it that hasn’t been heard in years. Fullbright’s future is bright and chock full of the potential that many would kill for.” — Bob Worden, KQBR.com

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