Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis: Wild! Wild! Wild! – Great balls of fired-up rock’n’roll

Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 05:00


Wild! Wild! Wild!

Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis



We take our cue from the Bloodshot website: “Subversive as it is reverential, the album jumps the genre tracks of nitty-gritty rock-and-roll, country-and-western, rockabilly, jump swing, and gospel, landing in a strange slice of spacetime – call it 1954 – when all these were one . . .”

This was arguably year one in the rock’n’roll calendar because in July Elvis wanders into Sun Records and records That’s All Right, Mama. This album looks back fondly (and somewhat rose-tintedly) on that time, evoking the era’s innocence, energy and sheer fun.

Robbie Fulks is one of country’s sharpest writers and his songs here strike a persuasive balance between nostalgia, humour and regret, while his partner in song, pianist/singer Linda Gail Lewis – Jerry Lee’s younger sister at 71 – throws herself into his characters.

It’s an unlikely combination – her uninhibited wildness versus his thoughtful restraint – but one that prospers in the colourful terrain of Fulks’s ironic songscape. I Just Lived a Country Song, That’s Why They Called it Temptation and the typically wry Till Death reference Nashville, while the title track, Round Too Long and Boogie Woogie Country Gal scream rock’n’roll.

All 13 tracks entertain mightily.