Jake Xerxes Fussell: When I'm Called - Hilfe

Jake Xerxes Fussell - When I'm Called

Cover von When I'm Called
Jake Xerxes Fussell
When I'm Called

Label Fat Possum
Erstveröffentlichung 12.07.2024
Format CD
Lieferzeit 1 – 3 Werktage
Preis 15,95 € (inkl. MwSt. zzgl. Versand)

24er des Mannes aus North Carolina, und alle waren sie klasse. Nach dem völlig entkleideten und purem Opener (nur mit Akustikgitarre, ungewöhnlich für ihn; ganz klassischer intimer leiser Songwriter-Folk) bewegt er sich irgendwo zwischen Folk, Americana, Mountain Folk-Elementen (sehr traditionell ausgerichtet), einmal inklusive rudimentären Pop-Spuren, klingt so gut wie immer ungeheuer gelassen, arbeitet mit zurückhaltender Band (der zur Hälfte die auch sonst sparsamen Drums, nicht aber der meist akustische Bass abhanden gekommen ist), wobei die obligatorischen Gitarren (noch) seltener als früher und nur minimal elektrifiziert werden (2x), im Wechsel angereichert von einer kleinen Streichergruppe, Piano, weichen Holzbläsern, Orgel, einem sachten sanften und punktuellen Synth-Teppich, Dobro oder Pedal Steel. Die traditionelle Erdung hält sich im (eigentlich ziemlich optimalen) Rahmen, der sich (mit vielleicht einer Ausnahme) zeitlos anfühlt, nicht rückwärtsgewandt, teils balladesk, teils in aller Ruhe fließend, gern in sich ruhend, nur selten im Sound fülliger gestaltet (doch immer noch relaxt) respektive regelrecht erhaben bis beinahe feierlich (die Bläser), gelegentlich feinsinnig-filigran (ein Songwriter-Country-Stück, das mich entfernt an Bill Callahan erinnert). Erst gegen Ende kommen etwas Drive und Tempo oder wenigstens eine leicht beschwingte Gangart ins Spiel. Ansonsten: Wie immer besticht seine warmherzige ungemein angenehme seelenvolle (Bariton-) Stimme, in tiefenentspanntem gänzlich unaufgeregtem Umfeld, ebenso die extrem musikdienliche Begleitung, leichtfüßig wirkend (die Akustikgitarre vorzüglich, doch unspektakulär, ohne wirklich aufzufallen), das verwendete Songmaterial verschiedenster Herkunft ist sehr vielfältig, nicht zwangsläufig uralt, verarbeitet in für ihn typischer Manier, modifiziert, ausnehmend individuell verarbeitet. Und das Songwriting ist toll! Satte Empfehlung! (detlev von duhn)


Over the last decade, North Carolina’s Jake Xerxes Fussell has established himself as a devoted listener and contemplative interpreter of a vast array of lovingly sourced folk songs. On his fifth album, When I’m Called—his first LP for Fat Possum—Fussell returns to a well of music that holds lifelong sentimental meaning, contemplating the passage of time and the procession of life’s unexpected offerings.

Recognized for his compelling transliterations of traditional music, Fussell took an atypical approach to the material on When I’m Called, often constructing the music from the ground up, before considering what existing source material could be applied to the song. The core of the title track to When I’m Called is a passage that tumbled into Fussell’s life, picked up from a roadside scrap of paper that seemed to bear a child’s penitent writings. He borrowed his album’s sprightly opener, “Andy” from the eclectic multimedia artist Maestro Gaxiola, who penned it in the mid-1980s as an ode to his quixotic pseudo-rivalry with the pop-art icon Andy Warhol. He jumps next into “Cuckoo!”, a strings-swept update of a composition credited to the English composer Benjamin Britten and Jane Taylor, author of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.” The remainder of When I’m Called, like so many of Fussell’s favorite numbers, have extensive and winding traditional pedigrees.

James Elkington returned to the producer’s chair, offering guidance on arrangements after working with Fussell on 2022’s Good and Green Again. As Elkington helped flesh out the recordings with piano, pedal steel, dobro, more guitar, and light synth touches, Fussell again found himself ingratiated to Elkington’s eclectic and finely attuned sensibilities. “He's very open to a lot of weird ideas,” Fussell explains. “I feel like the conversations with him can be really free and open.”

With friends like Blake Mills, Joan Shelley, Robin Holcomb, and James Elkington lending their talents to the LP, Fussell’s latest archival dive expands upon his unassuming style, anchored by his friendly warble and even-tempered guitar. When I’m Called is Fussell’s richest work to date, and with a slate of warm instrumental textures abetting his glowing guitar, Fussell follows a growing artistic edge as he pursues broad questions of belonging.

Though his affection for ballads spans mountainous Appalachian tunes to sea shanties and everything in between, Fussell has found himself particularly close to field recordings made in the 1960s and ’70s by painter, musician, and folklorist Art Rosenbaum—one of Fussell’s beloved late mentors, who died in September 2022. He sources “Feeing Day,” which gets a brassy halo, to one of Rosenbaum’s 1971 captures in Scotland.

The lightly rolling “Leaving Here, Don’t Know Where I’m Going” and its unwitting companion, “Going to Georgia,” are part of Fussell’s multidisciplinary inheritance from Rosenbaum; threaded together with the gentle ripple of “Gone to Hilo,” the LP finds its thematic backbone in its trio of traveling songs. Rosenbaum’s field recordings of “Who Killed Poor Robin?” and “One Morning in May” were among the numerous versions that informed Fussell’s contemporary takes. In tandem with his relationship to Rosenbaum, Fussell traces his love of post-war field recordings to his upbringing in Georgia by song-collecting folklorist parents, whose enthusiasm for their itinerant work surrounded their son in many different musics for as long as he can remember.

That early-life intensive had a profound impact on Fussell’s sense of time around music that, too often, gets treated as a museum piece. “When I was getting really deep into traditional music as a teenager, I tended to see it more in a continuum, like, ‘This is all tied into an ongoing world,’” he says. In the ringing warmth of When I’m Called, Fussell honors traditions while carrying them into a new generation’s field of vision, deepening his own understanding of his part in the “ongoing world.” He’s charted his own terrain of growth and change without any hurry toward a destination, and in his guitar-guided meditations, Fussell plucks at the threads that keep humanity knotted together. 

1. Andy<
>2. Cuckoo!<
>3. Leaving Here, Don't Know Where I'm Going<
>4. Feeing Day<
>5. When I'm Called<
>6. One Morning In May<
>7. Gone To Hilo <
>8. Who Killed Poor Robin?<
>9. Going To Georgia 
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