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Song review: John Fullbright — "High Road"

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Like many of the artists his supporters have likened him to, John Fullbright is a storyteller at heart. Songwriters like Neil Young and Randy Newman had an uncanny knack for potently visceral third-person accounts, and Fullbright often demonstrates a similar proclivity — or at least the potential to. “High Road,” from his aptly titled forthcoming album Songs, is perhaps the best evidence yet that the Okemah-bred 26-year- old can paint a picture with the best of them. It would be easy to get wrapped up in the story of its protagonists, a couple who fall in love on the premise of innocence only to endure a tragically abrupt ending. Yet Jack and Susie are mere conduits for Fullbright’s message; “Living comes natural to many,” he sings. “Love comes natural to few.” While his delivery might not seem all that experiential on the surface, the overarching theme suggests a deeper, more personal meaning.

And while the song clocks in at a brazen seven and a half minutes, each acoustic strum, each lyric is necessary to properly convey its melancholic fervor. Ultimately, “High Road” unfolds in a way that’s arguably as penetrating as anything in the budding singer-songwriter’s fledgling — yet increasingly engaging — catalog.

Speaking of Folk

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