Lowell Fulson: Trouble Trouble, The Definitive Early Years Collection (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Lowell Fulson: The Train is Leaving (1947)
Lowell Fulson: Trouble Trouble, The Definitive Early Years Collection (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

Sometimes the singer-guitarist Lowell Fulson (1921-99) recorded as Lowell Fulsom and even Lowell Fullsom, but he was born Fulson although the liner notes to this three CD set suggest where the variations came from.

Fulson himself would adopt the various spellings for his own reasons (think: the taxman), but his grandfather was actually Henry Fulsom who was black freeman living with the Choctaw Indians.

Born in Atoka south of Tulsa, Fulson was a working musician by the time he was 18 and early on played Western Swing. But as he toured with various bands he picked up blues and after military service in Guam he returned to California and became associated with the West Coast sound of the blues.

He enjoyed a number of hits (notably Come Back Baby and later Reconsider Baby for Chess who let him record in Dallas) and as his group got bigger at one time it had Ray Charles (who stole his band) and Stanley Turrentine in its ranks. Which is interesting because this collection -- 75 songs arranged chronologically from'46-62 -- shows just how diverse Fulson could be.

On the first disc which covers the Forties he sounds more like a rural blues singer from the South with an electric guitar, not as loud or as edgy as the Chicago players but moaning and pinging off precise lines with a small combo based around piano and his  guitar.

As the years roll on there are elements of swing and jazz, horn sections and his interpretations of familiar material like Ain't Nobody's Business, Everyday I Have the Blues and Rocking After Midnight.

That kind of diversity (and his dextrous vocals as much as his guitar work) makes for interesting listening, although even blues aficionados would agree that 75 songs -- more than a few starting with "Well . . ." -- is a lot of Lowell Fulson.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

DAVE ALVIN INTERVIEWED (2015): Brothers in arms, again

DAVE ALVIN INTERVIEWED (2015): Brothers in arms, again

Dave Alvin has, as they say, miles on the tyres. At 59, the acclaimed guitarist and singer can look back to the roots-rock band the Blasters he formed with his brother Phil in the late... > Read more

JOE BONAMASSA INTERVIEWED (2014): The plan is do what you do

JOE BONAMASSA INTERVIEWED (2014): The plan is do what you do

Joe Bonamassa – the 37-year old Grammy nominated blues-rock guitarist considered one of the finest players of his generation – is talking about what he does when he takes a break.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RICHARD MEIER'S GETTY CENTRE IN LOS ANGELES (1999): Architecture, art and anger

RICHARD MEIER'S GETTY CENTRE IN LOS ANGELES (1999): Architecture, art and anger

High in the hills overlooking Los Angeles, The Getty Centre offers a commanding view. “Yeah, on a clear day you can see smog forever,” says a droll Angelino as he stares into the... > Read more

Crispy'n'chilli squid

Crispy'n'chilli squid

Cannot tell a lie, this is a variation on something from Nigella Bites -- but with a twist. Real tasty starter, but it does involve gettin' squishy with it because you really do need fresh squid... > Read more