Music News

Critic's Choice

Last December, Robbie Fulks delivered one the finest shows to hit Denver in the year 2000, a neo-country pop set that won't soon be forgotten. Unfortunately, only a small group of locals were there to witness that wintertime performance at the Gothic. Too bad: Fulks has rightfully earned the status of the true King of alt-country, the author of C&W songs that take the genre to deeper depths and newer, rawer territory. He also pens grade-A pop songs. In either genre, his tunes are almost always good for a laugh, loaded with expert wordplay and sneering sarcasm; he knows how to slay listeners with laments of staggering heartbreak, too. Live, Fulks displays astounding guitar playing and a knack for stage banter that rivals that of both Denver Joe and David Letterman. Adding to his Dennis the Menace stage persona is his knack for dropping revamped covers (Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," for example) in between tales of love, loss and country music gone wrong. Fulks, who returns to the Gothic on Thursday, September 20, with the Railbenders and Reverend Leon's Revival, is now touring in support of his latest disc, a concept CD dubbed Couples in Trouble. Think the crafts of songwriting and performing are dying in this age of shlock twang and industrial pop? Fulks is proof that they're far from dead.
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Marty Jones