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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label JL Fulks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JL Fulks. Show all posts

Friday, October 7, 2016

JL Fulks - On Down The Road - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, On Down The Road from JL Fulks and I really like it. Opening with The River, Fulks sets the stage with a meaty double stop sound on his guitar and his own vocals backed by solid backing vocals by Rachel Brown. Driving rock drums work by Ian Jones and tasty bass work by Ken Burgner complimented nicely by Muggie Doo on B3 leads into a well executed guitar solo. Very cool. Snappy drum riffs by Jones opens title track, On Down The Road, a Matt Schofleid compiosition. Fulks has really learned to keep his guitar in check and uses his lead vocals to direct the track, adding really well executed guitar soloing by Schofield and his own to complete his expressions. Excellent! Slow blues number, I Believe In Love, gives Fulks the opportunity to show his metal with his guitar. His phrases are well composed and fluid showing maturity and patience. Very nice! On Honey, Ain't That Love, Fulks backs off to an easy shuffle and more primitive styling. With a solid bass line by Burgner and Thorogood like vocals, this is a cool radio style track. Wrapping the release is Phrygian Dance, a cool Greek or middle eastern sound with a hyped up rock beat. I really like this instrumental giving all of the band mates a workout with Fulks soloing throughout. I really like this release which shows super growth by Fulks over tha past year. This is a guy to watch.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

JL Fulks - Live in Studio 101/Heading Back To Memphis - New Release Reviews

I just received two new EP releases, Live in Studio 101 and Heading Back To Memphis from JL Fulks and they are quite good. Live in Studio 101 opens with shuffle track, Before I Go Insane. With it's Freddie King feel and tight riffs, this is a nice opener. Joining Fulks who handily manages guitar and vocals, is Jim Kinder on drums, Chris Reynolds on rhythm guitar and Ron Calese on bass. Twang Thang is a breezy blues rocker instrumental. With just a pinch of country riffs this has style. On slow blues track, I Believe In Love, Fulks really shows his chops on guitar. Clocking in at over 9 minutes, Fulks does an excellent job of making the time fly with inventive riff after inventive riff. Very nice! On instrumental funky/jazz track, Watch Yourself, Fulks and crew get a nice groove going showing another facet of Fulks repertoire.

 His second EP, Heading Back To Memphis, shows a bit more maturity with more fully crafted tracks. Opening with title track, Heading Back To Memphis, Fulks is joined by Rockin' Jake on harp, Ian Jones on drums and Ken Burgner on bass. A cool 12 bar number, this track has a nice bite of Chicago and some cool solo riffs from Fulks and Jake. Moonshine Blues has a swampy feel with Fulks on slide with reverb. A heavy overtone gives this track a hot texture. Possibly his best yet! Wrapping the release is Back To You, a rock n roller with a Chuck Berry/Alvin Lee feel. Another well written track, I'm looking forward to hear more from Fulks.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dixie Highway - JL Fulks and Patrick Levon Farinas - New release review

I just got the new recording, Dixie Highway, by JL Fulks and Patrick Levon Farinas. This recording is a mixture of a lot of different sounds from R&B, deep blues, southern rock, guitar rock, jazz, funk, Nashville ... and much more. The opening track, I Gotta Get It Tonight, takes hints from Humble Pie, Bad Company and Van Halen for a contemporary look at southern blues rock. This track has heavy undertones and speed riffs. My Girl has the construction of a blues standard from the 50's with absolutely screaming guitar riffs. These riffs have the blues quality of BB King and the fluid dexterity of Johnny Winter or Alvin Lee... a really nice combination. Bull In A China Shop starts off in the style of a Buddy Guy track but switches to a Clarence Gatemouth Brown romp and back demonstrating the versatility of the group. Fish in My Own Pond has the distinct sound of Nashville but with a Chicago Mojo. These guys can play! Deep Blue is definitely cut from BB King's cloth but with high intensity soloing. This is really done tastefully and with feeling .... possibly the best track on the recording. Crazy About You has a funky jazz bass with blues overtones. There are some dirty nasty riffs on this track so beware! Before I Go Insane is right off the Chicago songbook. Fulks and Farinas take ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills so if you like guitar ...get ready. I Believe In Love is a straight up T Bone Walker style slow blues track again giving the duo the chance to solo generously. Born In Cackalack is more of a Chuck Berry influenced blues track with some country overlay. Watch Yoself has a funky back beat and the contemporary Texas style blues rhythm pattern but with sophisticated jazz styling. This is a pretty cool recording and one that you should check out if you really like guitar blues!
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Monday, January 9, 2012

The Long Road of a Young Musician: An interview with JL Fulks

I recently became acquainted with a very talented musician and after some discussions thought that his story may not only help his journey but also may help others who are traveling a similar path. JL Fulks grew up in Greenville , South Carolina and recently relocated to Boca Raton, Florida.

Bman: Hi JL. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. How long have you been playing guitar?

JL: Not a problem, I have been playing guitar for about 7 years now

Bman: So give me the story. How did this all begin?

JL: I joined Unsought Rejection with some friends in high school. We had some minor gigging success, and it was the first time I contributed to writing original music. We also won my high schools battle of the bands. We ended up recording a 5 song demo in a pro studio that came out decent. Everyone in the band stopped playing music shortly after that but me, but it was a good experience for me at that age.

Bman: Then about a year later you formed “Until Next Time” which won a Battle of the Bands contest and a few contract offers. I’m guessing that you really weren’t convicted with your band or with what you were playing.

JL: I formed Until Next Time with some other musicians that I thought were some of the best in Greenville at the time. I wrote 70% of the music and we ended up making a very solid set list. Having that set list and good original hard rock songs took us to Gorilla Productions battle of the bands. We won both rounds and were voted the best hard rock band in Greenville, SC at that time. Winning that opened up a lot of doors to contract offers and gigs. All of the contract offers were inadequate offers but it was a great experience learning about the music business and the law. The band had minor success and everyone else again quit playing but me.

Bman: I think that is the time people either start to get serious or find something else to do. So you got serious and started taking lessons from an instructor at University of South Carolina. How did that change your perception of music and what you were playing?

JL: After that band I really wanted to create music on my own and not depend on other people’s commitment. I wanted to get better so I could hang out and play with the best musicians around. I started taking private Jazz lessons from Adam Knight, a professor at USC Upstate. He really changed my thought process of creating music, and fixed a lot of bad habits. He helped me in my process of auditioning for Berklee, reading music, my blues song writing, my improvisation, and many other great aspects that are used in creating great music.

Bman: It's pretty obvious that you were a serious study and he was a good teacher. So now you’re starting to get opportunities to play with national talents and a few recording opportunities. I’ll bet that lit you up!

JL: Since I have moved to Florida I have played with many top notch musicians. I hit many of the Pro South Florida Blues jams at BB Kings, The Backroom, The Blue Boar, The Funky Buddha, etc. While attending these jams I have had the opportunity to play with International Blues Challenge winner JP Soars, Muggie Doo from Buddy Miles Express, and Julius Pastorius, the son of the great Jaco Pastorius. Also since I have been here I've had the opportunity to record with a pro reggae artist named Uncle Sam Di Foreign man on his 4th album.

Bman: Sounds like you're on your way. So now you’ve moved to Boca and are continuing your studies with Berklee Music, doing session work and giving lessons. And you’re looking for some mates to gig with who compliment you. Can you articulate who you’re looking for? Maybe they’re reading this!

JL: Studying at Berklee has really helped me become a better player. It has given me the discipline needed to sit down an practice 6-7 hours a day. I am looking to form a band with adequate musicians that have the same commitment to excellence. I really want to keep the blues alive with a new age rockin' South Florida blues band. I want to have many other styles mixed in as well such as rock, funk, and jazz. Unfortunately I have not come across the musicians I am looking for to create my dream band. I have been holding out, and in the mean time I plan to be involved with a few projects on the side such as a reggae band, and a duo acoustic act.

Bman: I know that it can be tough to find the right mix. Playing different styles and just staying active in the music scene... and keeping your writing juice going is huge.
My favorite guitar player in the world ,who shall remain nameless for this interview, indicated a few years back that he gets a sound in his head and just walks around the city trying to find someone who sounds like they have it. Now he has the fortune of being the best guitar player in the world and usually has one of the top few bass and drummers in the world in his band. But it always has to be a good match. If you watch him in his most recent (not current) band on Crossroads you can see the chemistry between his rhythm section and him …and how he is as much in awe of them as they are of him. That has to be a great feeling!

JL: It is a great feeling to master your instrument and get to share your heart and soul through music with the world. The more you practice, learn, hear, and play the better musician you will become.

Bman: Spoken like a true musician. I love it! I’ve heard a few tracks of you playing and I feel confident that once you connect with the right crew you’ll be unstoppable!

JL: Most of the tracks online are jams I have done all over south Florida with different musicians with no prior rehearsal before. I feel confident that when I get with the right people, I will be able to write more structured, theoretical, and progressive music. Having the right band will definitely put my foot forward in the music business.

Bman:I certainly agree! You recently had a special unplugged appearance on an Internet Radio station. How did that go?

JL: I was a special guest on the American Biker Talk Radio show. It is the biggest biker talk radio show in the world. I was able to perform 4 of my newly written original songs live on the radio. It went very well and to my surprise many people called in supporting me music, including the famous Jesse Ventura. There were 20,000 people viewing online, which marked the biggest crowd I have ever performed in front of.

Bman: I shared your link about the show on Facebook. Will you have access to a digital copy of the video of the show. I think it would be really cool to see for those who didn’t catch it!

JL:I have a video with no audio right now. I will be getting a professional audio copy of the whole show. I will upload it on my Youtube channel as soon as it get it!

Bman: I'll keep an eye out for that. I really appreciate your time. Your music sounds great. I hope that you find some mates soon. I know that a lot of my readers are ready for the next step!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share with your fans?

JL: Thanks a lot for interviewing me. I hope a lot of readers can use my advice to their advantage.

Bman: Best of luck pal and keep up the good work. Talk to you soon!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stormy Monday - JL Fulks with JP Soars, Captain Reese and Aaron Allen

JL Fulks,(Jeffrey Lynn Fulks Jr.) started playing the guitar at age 13. By the 8th grade he was playing in his schools praise band performing weekly at school, and even traveled with the band to other christian schools to perform.

In the 10th grade he joined a rock band called Unsought Rejection. The band played weekly at skate parks, and other local gigs in the Greenville area. They won 1st place in his high schools battle of the bands. At age 15 he had already recorded his first demo track in a professional recording studio.

In November of 2008, JL performed in front of more than five thousand people at Brookwood Church in Mauldin South Carolina. In that time he learned how to use professional stage equipment, and how to work with multiple musicians.

Then in January of 2009, He formed another band called Until Next Time. UNT was very popular throughout Greenville and won Gorilla Productions battle of the bands for there first performance. Winning the battle of the bands took them to the Finals at the Handlebar, which they also won. Gorilla Productions voted them the best hard rock band in Greenville, South Carolina in 2009. After winning battle of the bands they were able to record for free at Sit-N-Spin studios, have a show headlining show at The Handlebar, and were offered contracts from two minor record labels. Eventually the band split up and JL started a solo acoustic act playing at private parties and coffee shops.

In December of 2009 JL's family and friends encouraged him to start singing and he quickly started to write his own blues songs. At that time he decided to become a blues singer and songwriter.

In the summer of 2010, JL decided to take private lessons from an instructor at University of South Carolina named Adam Knight. JL studied jazz and multiple styles of music with Adam Knight and quickly evolved as a musician. JL started playing in his own blues, jazz, and funk trio booking many gigs throughout Greenville. He also sat in with many bands and artists at venues, and recorded with a few. JL had the opportunity to jam with many successful musicians such as Rickey Godfrey, JP Soars & The Red Hots, Max Hightower, and Danny Keylon (Mac Arnold & The Plate full O blues band), Tez Sherard (Edwin McCain, Gypsy Souls), Julius Pastorius, Muggy (Buddy Miles Express, Double Trouble), and JJ Woolbright (Guitarist for Brett Michaels, Sweet Crude, and Jackyl).

As well as playing live music, JL plans to progress in his studies and become a professional guitarist. In September of 2011, JL enrolled in Berklee College of Music's Online school to become certified in Blues, Jazz, and Rock guitar.

As of right now JL lives in South Florida. He recently has done studio work for Reggae Artist Uncle Sam (Di Foreign Man), and plans to become a devoted Session Guitarist for many other artists in the future. JL is halfway into his classes at Berkleemusic maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He has been studying with Berklee professors Joe Musella, Kevin Belz, and Bruce Saunders. He is in the process of forming a professional blues band, and getting a job teaching guitar at a local music store. There is alot to come from JL so make sure you stay tuned!
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