Enthusiastic Eunuch presents
JAKE XERXES FUSSELL
(Paradise Of Bachelors)
Wed 26th Oct 2022
Whelan’s Main Venue
“Fussell makes the good-natured workplace bitching on Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues feel both particular and timeless. These are exceptional songs, performed exceptionally well.” – The Guardian five star review
“More than a mere interpreter, Fussell is a folkie in the preservationist, pre-Bob Dylan sense—learning from field recordings, folklorists’ transcriptions, archives, other musicians, and even YouTube videos, notating his sources, and reanimating the music through rites of joyous antiquarianism.” – Pitchfork
“Jake Xerxes Fussell creates music that resides at the seams of Appalachia and the cosmos.” – NPR
Durham, North Carolina singer and guitarist JAKE XERXES FUSSELL (yes, that’s his real middle name, after Georgia potter D.X. Gordy) 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.)
As a teenager Jake began playing and studying with elder musicians in the Chattahoochee Valley, apprenticing with Piedmont blues legend Precious Bryant, with whom he toured and recorded, and riding wild with Alabama bluesman, black rodeo rider, rye whiskey distiller, and master dowser George Daniel. He joined a Phenix City country band who were students of Jimmie Tarlton of Darby and Tarlton; he accompanied Etta Baker in North Carolina; he moved to Berkeley, where he hung with genius documentary filmmaker Les Blank and learned from Haight folkies like Will Scarlett (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Brownie McGhee) and cult fingerstyle guitarist Steve Mann; he appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. He did a whole lot of listening, gradually honing his prodigious guitar skills, singing, and repertoire. In 2005 he moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he enrolled in the Southern Studies department at Ole Miss, recorded and toured with Rev. John Wilkins, and in 2014, began recording his first solo album.
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 thepush 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 his superb & rapturously received latest album ‘Good & Green’ .
€21.50 available online from Whelan’s.
– 50c per ticket service charge applies on all bookings. Final ticket price may be higher from other outlets.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Silent Disco from 10:30pm – 2 DJs, just pick the one you like best (€5 cover charge), plus Late Bar.