After a recent show at the Bello Bar, the North Carolina singer and guitarist Jake Xerxes Fussell has been announced to return to Dublin for a show at Whelan’s this October.
The gig is presented by Enthusiastic Eunuch and happens on Wednesday October 26th at Whelan’s. Tickets are €20 plus fees from Whelan’s.
Fussell’s music is informed from his time with his father Fred C. Fussell, an Alabama folklorist, curator, and photographer who took his son on the road while he was recording blues and folk songs and musicians.
In January, Fussell released his fourth album of bluesy folk music entitled Good & Green Again.
Jake Xerxes Fussell is a Durham, North Carolina singer and guitarist (yes, that’s his real middle name, after Georgia potter D.X. Gordy) who grew up in Columbus, Georgia, son of Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist, curator, and photographer who hails from across the river in Phenix City, Alabama (once known as “The Wickedest City in America” for its rampant vice, corruption, and crime.) Fred’s fieldwork took him, often with young Jake in tow, across the Southeast documenting traditional vernacular culture, which included recording blues and old-time musicians with fellow folklorists and recordists George Mitchell and Art Rosenbaum (which led Jake to music) and collaborating with American Indian artists (which led Jake eventually to his graduate research on Choctaw fiddlers..
Jake’s 2015 self-titled debut record, produced by and featuring William Tyler, transmutes ten arcane folk and blues tunes into vibey cosmic laments and crooked riverine rambles. Collaborating with Tyler and engineer Mark Nevers in Nashville was a conscious decision to depart cloistered trad scenes and sonics for broader, more oblique horizons. Tyler, a guitar virtuoso known for his own compositions that untether and reframe traditional six-string forms and techniques, helmed the push boat in inimitable fashion, enlisting crack(ed) Nashville session vets Chris Scruggs (lap steel, bass, mandolin: Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Marty Stuart), Brian Kotzur (drums: Silver Jews), and Hoot Hester (fiddle; Bill Monroe, Ray Charles) to crew.
In 2017 Fussell followed his celebrated self-titled debut with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. What in the Natural World features art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).
In January 2022 Jake released ‘Good & Green Again’ to rapturous & critical acclaim