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Jake Xerxes Fussell

Stewie 21 Jul 19 - 08:20 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Jul 19 - 02:49 AM
Stewie 22 Jul 19 - 04:38 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Jul 19 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 22 Jul 19 - 10:57 AM
Janie 22 Jul 19 - 08:53 PM
Janie 22 Jul 19 - 08:55 PM
Stewie 22 Jul 19 - 09:16 PM
Janie 23 Jul 19 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 23 Jul 19 - 08:25 AM
Stewie 23 Jul 19 - 09:38 AM
leeneia 25 Jul 19 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 08:20 PM

A search reveals that there has been no mention of this lad on this forum. If you are interested in American traditional music and have not heard him, give him a listen. I discovered him only recently and have purchased his 3 albums, all excellent. You can listen to his albums on Youtube. His guitar mentor was the renowned blues/gospel singer from Georgia - Precious Bryant.

Concert

On Youtube

--Stewie


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 02:49 AM

I listened to a track called ' 3 Ravens ' seemed to have nothing to do with the traditional Scottish song of the same name, got bored after 1.5 minutes very good but totally boring repetitious guitar playing.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 04:38 AM

So you dismiss his music on the basis of a single tune and the fact that it has no connection to a traditional Scots song. That's very broad-minded of you.

That particular album has received excellent reviews from The Guardian, Folk Radio UK, Mojo, The Observer et alia.

Respected folklorist Art Rosenbaum is somewhat more enthusiastic:

"Jake X. Fussell is certainly one of America’s finest young tradition-based songsters and guitar pickers. He had an ideal start: as a kid traveling the back roads of Georgia, Alabama, and even out to the Indian regions of Oklahoma with his folklorist dad, hearing and absorbing not only the vocal styles and guitar licks of such greats as Precious Bryant, but also developing a sure sense of the expressive core of Southern roots music. From Georgia’s Sea Islands and Chattahoochie Valley to the Mississippi Delta to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jake is still listening and learning, and coming up with music that takes us to a deep place in the American spirit".

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 07:05 AM

Fair comment Stewie.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 10:57 AM

Based on only listening to one track, 'The Rainbow Willow' - an abysmal rendition of a beautiful song - I can only say that I agree with Dave. Sorry, Stewie. Over the years I have come to rely on Stewie's vast knowledge of Old-Time music and I greatly admire Stewie's dedication to the music. But this is not the sort of music that I like. It is a personal choice, I guess. But, just because Art Rosenbaum likes him and various media critics give him good reviews, doesn't mean that I must like him too.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 08:53 PM

I first heard of him - and saw him perform when he opened for Anna & Elizabeth at a small venue in Chapel Hill, NC about a year ago.

I became an immediate fan and have all of his CD's. There were some people at the concert who were very disappointed in Anna & Elizabeth's show, expecting an evening of ballads done in very traditional arrangements. Instead, they got some saxophone and some theater.

If you listened to Jake, or to Anna & Elizabeth, at least to the show they were doing on their tour last year, with the expectation that you are going to hear traditional tunes done in a traditional manner you were not happy, and some of the folks I went to that show with were not.

Jake's music is strongly influenced by his immersion from a young age in the music of the south. His father was a folklorist and Jake traveled with him. It inspires him, but he will be the first to say he needed to make music that is his own. Inspired by traditional music, but not traditional music.

I'll link to a recent interview where he talks about his influences, and also his recognition that what is does is not traditional. As he notes in the interview,

"..for me, the process has to be connecting with something emotionally and then drawing out certain aspects..singing it from a place that feels real to me rather than me trying to emulate someone else."

https://www.wunc.org/post/jake-xerxes-fussell-puts-fresh-spin-traditional-music-out-sight

You still may not like his music after listening, and I'm not implying there is anything wrong with your music sensibilities if you don't. Personally, I really love all three of the CD's and especially love his bluesy/electric gospel/rockabilly sounding guitar. I also think he is a talented guitarist.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 08:55 PM

Muffed the link. Will try again.
https://www.wunc.org/post/jake-xerxes-fussell-puts-fresh-spin-traditional-music-out-sight


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 09:16 PM

Hi Mike, once again, I must say that dismissing him on the basis of listening to a single rendition is hardly fair. I much prefer him without a full band - voice and guitar only. I was not aware of 'Rainbow Willow' so have nothing to compare. However, according to his sleeve note, Fussell was aware of 4 Arkansas variants by traditional singers in Max Hunter. Evidently, atypically for the treatment of a murder ballad, he deliberately arranged the song to give space to each player between stanzas. I have no trouble at all listening to it. The only other rendition of a variant I can find on the Net is by North Carolina duo, House and Land - fiddle and guitar. I cannot enjoy this because the girl's voice irritates me and I find it difficult to decipher what she is singing. Thus, as you say, de gustibus ... but 'abysmal' is harsh.

House and Land

Janie, I'm pleased to learn of another fan. I too thoroughly enjoy all his CDs.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Janie
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 01:11 AM

I also prefer his solo performances. Love his research and detailed notes on his sources on his CD's. Following is the archived fishmonger's recording on which he based his song, 'The River St. John", followed by a link to a live solo performance by Jake of the song. I also like the recording on his latest CD, with a band. And just to be a pain in the ass, will post a link to that also.


Fish vendor's cry. Harden Stuckey, recorded by Stetson Kennedy 1939

The river St. John Jake fussell, live solo performance

With a band on the album "Out of Sight"


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 08:25 AM

Stewie, some years ago I took my wife, Emma, to meet the North Carolina singer Doug Wallin. Doug had just suffered a stroke but, at one point, he said that he would like to sing something to us. This turned out to be the song 'The Rainbow Mid the Willows'. It was quite an effort and, at one point, Doug took hold of Emma's hand. By the time Doug finished the song there were tears rolling down both Doug and Emma's cheeks. It was a very emotive moment and certainly one that I will never forget. Today, I have not heard any other version of the song that matches the version that Doug sang to us that day. And that includes the version which I mentioned in the previous message.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for that, Mike. Given how important and emotive the memory of that poignant experience is for you, I can well understand your reaction to Fussell's rendition.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell
From: leeneia
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 09:21 PM

Thanks for the link. I listened to his 'River St Johns', and I liked it.


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