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Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His current release, Bluegrass Vacation on Compass Records, returns him to his bluegrass roots, with a large group of masterful musicians including Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Justin Moses, Ronnie McCoury, Alison Brown, David Grier, Tim O’Brien, Todd Phillips, John Cowan, Brennen Leigh, Randy Kohrs, Sierra Hull, Stuart Duncan, Shad Cobb, and Chris Eldridge. Across 11 new original songs (and one freewheeling interpretation of the Delmore Brothers), Robbie covers themes like small-town blues, the endurance of childhood memory, inebriation, love, divorce, the role of music in strengthening family bonds, losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s, and bluegrass itself.
His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (“Alabama At Night”).
Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast
Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. He learned guitar from his dad, banjo from Earl Scruggs and John Hartford records. He attended Columbia College in New York City.
In 1983 he moved to Chicago and joined Greg Cahill’s Special Consensus Bluegrass Band. He taught music at Old Town School of Folk Music from 1984 to 1996, and worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row in Nashville from 1993 to 1998.