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

Courtney is the editor of TJ and a No Depression, Lone Star Music Magazine and Texas Music Magazine contributor. Her interest and passion lies in Texas music, with focus on West Texas and Texas country. She has written features on the likes of Terry Allen, Ryan Bingham, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Radney Foster, and Wanda Jackson to list a few. Courtney is currently working on an upcoming book that will be part of the Texas A&M University Press John and Robin Dickson Series, ‘Live Forever: The Songwriting Legacy of Billy Joe Shaver’ an oral history outlining Texas legend Billy Joe Shaver’s life and songwriting narrated by his friends and peers in the music industry. Courtney is also contributing to "For The Sake of The Song" a forthcoming book on Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt.
Courtney S. Lennon

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