Fulsom, Lowell – In a Heavy Bag – New LP
Lowell Fulson (using "Fulsom" here), born from parents of Choctaw and African American descent, raised on the reservation in Oklahoma, born in 1921 and backed with decades of influencial and ground-breaking recordings behind him at this point, offered up this kick set from 1970, just before turning 50, teaching the young folks how it's done, Fulson and the band jumping into the rip roaring, slinking like a king snake into the others, rollercoasting between tempos, coming at it with loads of grip and grit...for fans of blues of course but also for anybody with rock n roll pumping through their veins. So much is said about Elvis' comeback around this time, but Fulson was coming back at it all the time. DJs might say this LP didn't become an FM rock radio staple because it was blues, but that's just bullshit because so many rock albums from this era were blues-based. This era created so many "classic" rock albums, some good and others fairly flat and overrated; this stands next to the former and towers above the latter. -- winch
"What's in a name? In Lowell Fulson's case, plenty! During his long and storied career he recorded under his own name as well as Lowell Fullsom and Lowell Fulsom. Done so for business reasons, there was no hiding his true identity once he began to sing and play. An Oklahoma native, Fulson grew up with equal doses of Bob Wills and Texas blues and soon became the leading proponent of the West Coast blues sound. A triple threat as a singer/writer/guitar player, Fulson recorded for many labels, notably Swing Time, Chess/Checker, Kent and Rounder. His numerous hits included "Reconsider Baby," "Lonesome Christmas," "Tramp" (famously covered by Carla and Rufus Thomas), "Three O'Clock Blues" and "Everyday I Have The Blues." His influence on his peers and subsequent generations of musicians is incalculable. Upon signing with Chess Records in 1954, Fulson recorded "Reconsider Baby" under the direction of Stan Lewis in Dallas, Texas. One of the horn players on the session, saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman, became a major star in his own right. Though the hits temporarily dried up in the latter part of his Chess/Checker career, a move to Kent Records in 1965 sparked a chart resurgence. Hitting in rapid succession with "Black Nights," "Tramp," "Make a Little Love" and "I'm a Drifter," Fulson firmly reestablished his dominance of the genre, winning over a new generation of fans coming to the blues through the Rolling Stones, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream and other blues rock acolytes. Taking a break from Kent, Fulson reunited with Lewis to record a new album, In A Heavy Bag, as "Lowell Fulsom." Released on Lewis' Shreveport, Louisiana-based Jewel Records, it is heavy, indeed! Album opener "Look at You Baby" throws out sharp, piercing leads that would make Albert Collins shudder. Right on its heels is a wickedly salacious cover of the Beatles "Why Don't We Do It In The Road." The guitar tones on "Don't Destroy Me" percolate with such deep distortion that it surely shook Jimmy Page all night long and then some. Yet, throughout the album, the most powerful instrument is Fulson?s booming voice. Singing in a muscular, direct tone, it is easy to hear the effect he had on his one-time piano player, Mr. Ray Charles Robinson, aka Ray Charles. Fulson continued to perform and record until illness slowed him shortly before his death in 1999. Across such a rich career, there are many defining moments and In A Heavy Bag gathers eleven of those moments in one place. Sourced from the original Jewel analog tapes, this album is an immensely enjoyable listening experience from beginning to end."