Monday, November 19, 2012
Robbie Fulks with Jon Langford; November 19, 2012; The Hideout
“How many of you were here last year?” Jon Langford asked early in the night, referring to his last appearance at one of Robbie Fulks’ weekly residency shows at the Hideout. When a round of cheers went up, indicating that nearly everyone had in fact been here last year he looked incredulous, “why in the world did you come back?” That was mostly Langford being funny, but it was also kinda true. I had enjoyed last year’s show, but it was a bit different from others I had seen. Langford almost seemed to take over the show from Fulks.
This year was different, they played more songs together, including the same song they had opened with last time, trading verses on some songs, backing each other on others. One of the highlights was Robbie playing Langford’s “Nashville Radio.” After which Jon commented observantly, “It took me a whole song to sum up what I knew about Nashville, and Robbie said it all in three words,” referring to the concise “Fuck This Town.”
Some of the best moments though were the covers. Last year it was Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” this year it was his “Yesterday’s Wine,” which was written by Willie Nelson. A surprise was Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman.” And as they had promised early on, they also did a Barbara Mandrell song, the perfect “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” Which could apply to tonight’s performers I suppose, though they are quite definitely cool. These are two of my absolute favorite musicians and it was a treat to see them playing together so nicely.