Okemah singer winning praise
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
1/01/13 at 6:48 AM
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The comparison is natural. Inevitably, a singer/songwriter who calls Okemah home has to answer to the legend of Woody Guthrie.
Especially if that singer/songwriter is male and a little bit of a maverick, and his music is richly flavored with the phrasing and accents of the folk tradition.
But if Oklahoma music icons are the standard by which 24-year-old John Fullbright is to be judged, Guthrie is not the closest match. In voice and singing style, he is nearer to Leon Russell; his lyrics are more like Jimmy Webb's, but edgier.
Technically, he's not from Okemah anyway. Sure, his mailing address is Okemah. But the farmhouse where he wrote the songs that made him a 2012 sensation is closest to Bearden, a wide spot on Oklahoma 48 about nine miles southwest of Okemah.
Soft-spoken and reflective, Fullbright can, by all accounts, be quite hard-headed when it comes to his music. His debut studio album, "From the Ground Up," has won praise from Los Angeles to Boston since its May release. His fusion of genres into a distinctive style prompted the Boston Globe to hail him as the "young master of unbridled Americana."
"Moving," a song from the album, won Fullbright the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award for the best lyrics of the year.
There's a man in the alley just a'singing the blues
Telling everybody that they're born to lose
Well one day he'll wake up and see the sun
See that everyday we're breathing is a day we've won
Fullbright starts 2013 on tour, with stops including Glasgow, Scotland, and West Los Angeles.
John Fullbright Courtesy