Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Minimalist Gothic outlaw country. That is how I describe Epilepsy Blues by Chris Fullerton. Fullerton has epilepsy so this is not meant to be offensive in any way. I guess the environment is so sterile that people have to put qualifiers on everything. Even a song title. It may take a few listens to really understand the full magnitude of this album. But patience is a virtue.
The writing is absolutely superb. Definitely some Dylan-esque songwriting going on. Deep lyrics with seemingly 3 stories going on at one time in a three minute song. You are going to have to stay on your toes to keep up with Chris Fullerton. Chris lives in Austin, TX, but he is originally from New Jersey. This one stumped me a bit. I thought Chris was born and bred in Texas by the way he sings. Regardless of that, this guy is legit!
If you like your music a little bitter sweet, you have come to the right place. Fullerton takes real life events and turns them into semi humorous songs. He in no way diminishes the impact, but actually makes it more powerful by adding well placed understated humorous lyrics.
No track is that more evident than the title track, Epilepsy Blues (Track 5). This is a serious subject, and as previously mentioned, something Chris is afflicted with. So if anyone can write and sing a satirical song about epilepsy, Chris can. The song starts off like this:
Well I just can't shake these epilepsy blues Well I just can't shake these epilepsy blues They got me shakin' in my boots Shakin' in my (garbled word). Well baby get the Valium from the drawer Well baby get the Valium from the drawer Cuz' these anti convulsives, just don't work no more.
It uses humor in a clever way to actually make the effect more poignant. If you can laugh at this, you can get through any situation. The humor is present enough and is not over the top.
This is a wonderful CD that needs to be heard by outlaw country and Americana fans near and far. Chris Fullerton will be a force to be reckoned with in country music if he can keep up this type of quality. I think he can and my money’s on Chris.