Home > Uncategorized > John Fullbright is Full Bright

John Fullbright is Full Bright

Bob Kinney Words and Photos

After experiencing John Fullbright for the first time on June 21 here in Austin at Threadgill’s, I am left wondering how this mid-20s singer-songwriter-three instrument musician can be such a keen observer of human life and then craft songs with an aged wisdom that’s based on his experiences while he was growing up in Okemah – that’s naturally in Oklahoma – where some 600 other folks live and first saw him perform in high school eight years ago – just like their grandparents experienced the power of sung justice when their neighbor Woody Guthrie picked up his Guitar That Kills Fascists and sang his songs of truth as Oklahoma was forced westward.

As I post this … Okemah folks now await WoodyFest – their local celebration of Woody & Friends’ music every mid-July closet to Woody’s birthday where – at the Woody family’s insistence before the fest’s first show in 1998 – no tickets are sold for the five-day annual event. So many musicians have played for free to honor Woody over the years.

Woody never charged a cover for decades as he traveled across and up and down our country during cruel times where most everyone was trying to figure out how to get through the Great Depression somehow.


Besides, Woody, other likely Fullbright influences come to mind – fellow Oklahomans Leon Russell and Ray Wylie Hubbard – Kris Kristofferson – John Prine – David Bromberg – Jimmy Webb – James McMurtry –

and, of course – Townes, David Olney and Warren Zevon.

Grounded in these folks and many others, Fullbright’s songs offer hints of a particular songwriter while singing his own words in a personally unique and welcoming way.

Fullbright’s songs are heartfelt – homey – oddly quirky – epiphaniac – tragic and comic.

Each is sung in a voice that is deftly tuned and sounds as wide as Oklahoma prairie.

Fullbright deftly plays piano, harmonica and guitar in many styles – nuanced, rockin’ and soulful. Harmonica blasts of wonder, varied and precise piano styles and nifty guitar tradeoffs with another Oklahoman Terry “Buffalo” Ware who once played in Ray Wylie’s band. David Leach, upright bass, and Giovanni Carnucci, drums, play superb and know how to fuse focus and smiles. It’s evident all four enjoy playing together on stage. “We don’t rehearse much,” Fullbright confided.

Fullbright credits these and other musicians in the “Thanks To” section as he concludes his album credits in the album’s mini-booklet.

“And last but certainly not least to all the Oklahoma musicians and mentors that gave me the strength and confidence to use my own voice.”

 Please listen to Fullbright’s debut album – “From the Ground Up” – on his nicely-designed website – JohnFullbrightMusic.com – and then buy it.

You can find a detailed tour list stretching into this fall on the website.

Hope you can experience John Fullbright soon.

Bob Kinney Words and Photos

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. morgan meltz
    June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Nice one Bob. Thanks. Sorry I missed the show – saw John a couple of months ago, and fell in love.

    • June 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Hey, Morgan
      I will surely be back for more next time he’s around Central Texas

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