Robbie Fulks year-end shows are legendary. The versatile musical genius pulls out all the stops with his wrap-up of the year that was every year at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. This holiday special was a little different. Backed by handsome upright bass-player Beau Sample, angel-voiced Nora O’Connor, charming drummer Alex Hall and always amazing guitarist Robbie Gjersoe, Fulks led the band through a winter wonderland, some of it serious, some of it hilarious. The obvious winner in the latter category was Fulks’ “Here Comes Santa with His Sack of Shit,” while tunes sung by any of the supporting players could have taken the award in the former category. Even though the quintet had played together the night before, the whole evening had a “let’s just go for it” feel with sheet music shuffled in between songs. No one is a master of the musical improv more than Fulks and he kept the show rolling, interspersing his originals with the holiday fare. And yes, of course, they did the Peanuts’ Christmas song.
Fulks used this show to announce his return to the basement next month, and before I left at the end of the night the show was a third reserved. Coming so soon after tonight’s show, I expected the furor over another KHoRM appearance to be less than a year previous. I was wrong, it must have whetted their appetites. The first show sold out in thirty minutes, and the second show filled up before I’d even announced it. Making Fulks once again the hottest ticket in Madison.