Jake Xerxes Fussell
Thursday 17th August 2023
The Jericho Tavern, 56 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AE
Doors 7.30 pm
Tickets £15 in advance, £18 on the night
Singer, guitarist, and folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell has distinguished himself as one of his generation’ preeminent interpreters of traditional (and not so traditional) “Folk”songs, a practice which he approaches with a refreshingly unfussy lack of nostalgia. By re-contextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South, he allows them to breathe and speak for themselves and for himself; he alternately inhabits them and allows them to inhabit him. In all his work, Fussell humanizes his material with his own profound curatorial and interpretive gifts, unmooring stories and melodies from their specific eras and origins and setting them adrift in our own waterways.
Fussell’ new album Good and Green Again was released on Jan 21, 2022 via Paradise of Bachelors. Produced by James Elkington, Good and Green Again navigates fresh sonic and compositional landscapes and is his most conceptually focused and breathtakingly rendered to-date. Fussell and Elkington enlisted a group of formidable players hailing from Durham, North Carolina (where Fussell lives) and elsewhere, including regular bandmembers Casey Toll on upright bass, Libby Rodenbough on strings, and Nathan Golub on pedal steel. They were joined by welcome newcomers Joe Westerlund (Megafaun, Califone) on drums, Joseph Decosimo on fiddle, Anna Jacobson on brass, and Bonnie “Prince”Billy, who contributes additional vocals.
"Fussell makes the good-natured workplace bitching on Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues feel both particular and timeless. These are exceptional songs, performed exceptionally well.”- The Guardian five star review
"More than a mere interpreter, Fussell is a folkie in the preservationist, pre-Bob Dylan sense—earning from field recordings, folklorists’transcriptions, archives, other musicians, and even YouTube videos, notating his sources, and reanimating the music through rites of joyous antiquarianism.”- Pitchfork
"Jake Xerxes Fussell creates music that resides at the seams of Appalachia and the cosmos.”- NPR
“His strongest album to date. Fussell is creating his own legacy within the long lineage of traditional folk musicians and storytellers that have come before him. ”- The New York Times
One of the 10 best albums of 2019 - The New Yorker