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Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (“Alabama At Night”).
Radio: multiple appearances on WSM’s “Grand Ole Opry”; PRI’s “Whadd’ya Know”; NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Mountain Stage,” and “World Cafe”; and the syndicated “Acoustic Cafe” and “Laura Ingraham Show.” TV: PBS’s Austin City Limits; NBC’s Today, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Carson Daly, and 30 Rock. From 2004 to 2008 he hosted an hourlong performance/interview program for XM satellite radio, “Robbie’s Secret Country.” Artists who have covered his songs include Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Andrew Bird, Mollie O’Brien, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s.
Robbie’s writing on music and life have appeared in GQ, Blender, the Chicago Reader, DaCapo Press’s Best Music Writing anthologies for 2001 and 2004, Amplified: Fiction from Leading Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Musicians, and A Guitar and A Pen: Stories by Country Music’s Greatest Songwriters. As an instrumentalist, he has accompanied the Irish fiddle master Liz Carroll, the distinguished jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman, and the New Orleans pianist Dr. John. As a producer his credits include Touch My Heart: A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck (Sugar Hill, 2004) and Big Thinkin’ by Dallas Wayne (Hightone, 2000). Theatrical credits include “Woody Guthrie’s American Song” and Harry Chapin’s “Cottonpatch Gospel.” He served twice as judge for the Winfield National Flatpicking Guitar competition. He tours yearlong with various configurations.
Besides country and bluegrass music, Robbie is fiercely fond of Charles Mingus, P.G. Wodehouse, quantum mechanics, his wife Donna, comedy in almost all forms, cooking, swimming laps, the past, Arthur Schopenhauer, Universal horror movies, his grandson and even his sons, coastal towns in the off-season, and rye whiskey, though in nothing like that order.
Golden Bough’s first European performances were in the streets and small folk clubs of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Holland and Switzerland in the early `80’s. These simple beginnings soon led to major tours of European cities and a recording contract with a top European folk music label. Other activities that Golden Bough has been involved in over the past several years include peace marches in cities all over Europe protesting the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, musical presentations for tens of thousands of elementary school children and events for human rights, religious freedom and drug rehabilitation.
Since their inception, Golden Bough has become a popular and in demand group on both sides of the Atlantic, gaining critical acclaim and enthusiastic support from folk fans wherever they perform. Blending their voices in pristine harmony, they back themselves on an array of rare and more common acoustic instruments, including; Celtic harp, penny-whistle, violin, octave-mandolin, mandolin, accordion, guitar, harmonica, recorder and bodhran. In the recording studio, as well as on stage, Golden Bough captures the essence and joy of traditional folk music and captivates listeners with the uniqueness of their original compositions. With songs and instrumental pieces ranging from ballads to lively jigs, reels and sing-alongs, Golden Bough provides an atmosphere in which the listener can enjoy unique entertainment within and beyond the boundaries of traditional folk music. Their music is well received and enjoyed by audiences of all ages.