Reviews

Chris Fullterton: Epilepsy Blues

 

Chris Fullerton: Epilepsy Blues
By Courtney S. Lennon, Editor

On his debut album, Epilepsy Blues (Eight 30 Records), Austin-based singer-songwriter, Chris Fullterton courageously looks his own mortality straight in the eye and comes out hopeful at the other side of it. Dealing with feelings of depression, stemming from the diagnosis of epilepsy he first faced six years ago, Fullerton’s songs possess the lyrical depth and poetic prowess of Townes Van Zadnt, combined with the grit and maturity of early delta bluesmen. Though he travels down a dark road, he finds perspective and optimism throughout the collection of songs. It is rare for an artist to create something this masterful on a first effort, but Epilepsy Blues is a testament to this newcomer’s talent and abilities as writer.

Fullteron’s voice, hearkens that of John Prine mixed with a twangy gravel, while maintaining a uniqueness and authenticity, as he pours his emotion into the songs he sings. His storytelling and vocal abilities shine with the sparse, melancholy country instrumentation found on tracks like “I Feel Nothing,” “Float up on and See,” “Motel Blues” and “Come on In.” The lyrical juxtaposition on “El Paso Spacedance,” echoes the wit and imagination of Terry Allen. The title track, begins with distorted vocals in the vein of Steve Earle and continues with a clunky beat and driving upright bass that produces an irony that works in concert with the theme of the song. As he delivers the line “well baby get the Valium from the drawer, ‘cause these anticonvulsants just don’t work no more,” he does so with an upbeat energy and rasp. On the chorus he sings “I just shake, I just shake, but it’s alright / because my baby she says I’m doing just fine,” a clever and paradoxical take on the trauma he endures dealing with life-threatening seizures. Fullterton’s experiences are rife with pain and introspection. He has a marked ability to pen songs that offer freshness, mixed with a classic, Texas singer-songwriter familiarity and craftsmanship. He incorporates elements of torment, true to the spirit of Townes Van Zandt, as well as the sorrowful fragility of Hank Williams, along with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude and toughness that makes him a truly dynamic artist.

chrisfullerton.com |  buy

Courtney S. Lennon

Courtney S. Lennon

Kin to legendary songwriter, Stephen Foster, Courtney is a strong voice in the roots community. A native of Buffalo, NY, she began her writing career at the Arts Desk of The University at Buffalo Spectrum. She is the Founder and Editor of TJ Music Magazine, which she started after moving to Los Angeles in 2010. Courtney has contributed to NoDepression.com, Lone Star Music Magazine and Texas Music Magazine. She has written cover stories on Ryan Bingham, Guy Clark, Terry Allen, Rodney Crowell and Dale Watson, among others.
Courtney S. Lennon

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