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Fussell is creating his own legacy within the long lineage of traditional folk musicians and storytellers that have come before him.
—New York Times
So elegant . . . relaxing in the way that pondering a Zen koan is relaxing, and sweet in the way that the wounded, honey-voiced blues of Mississippi John Hurt are sweet.
The folk musician’s latest album is a bittersweet collection full of silence and space. Delivered with empathy, his historical subject matter feels rooted in the present.
Singer, guitarist, and folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell has distinguished himself as one of his generation’s preeminent interpreters of traditional (and not so traditional) folk songs, a practice he approaches with a refreshingly unfussy lack of nostalgia. By recontextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South, he lets them breathe and speak for themselves and for himself—he alternately inhabits them and lets them inhabit him. In all his work, Fussell humanizes his material with his own profound curatorial and interpretive gifts, unmooring stories and melodies from their specific eras and origins and setting them adrift in our own waterways. The robust burr of his voice, which periodically melts and catches at a particularly tender turn of phrase, and the swung rhythmic undertow of exquisite, seemingly effortless guitar playing pull new valences of meaning from antique songs and subjects.
Fussell’s latest album, Good and Green Again, was released in 2022 via Paradise of Bachelors.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.