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Robbie Fulks Linda Gail Lewis Wild Wild Wild Album art
2018
| BS 263
$10.95

Wild! Wild! Wild!

Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis

DELUXE LP ON TRANSPARENT ROCK-N-ROLL RED VINYL

The new collaboration between Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks and rock-and-roll royalty Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee's younger sister)

"The best duo of our time." —Jerry Lee Lewis

Read a Q&A with Robbie & Linda about the record and how it all came together

This collaboration between Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks and rock-and-roll royalty Linda Gail Lewis, gleefully lives up to its title. Subversive as it is reverential.

Full Description
Wild! Wild! Wild!, the new collaboration between Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks and rock-and-roll royalty Linda Gail Lewis, gleefully lives up to its title. It’s Americana music that’s as butt-shakin’ as Beale Street, deep-rooted as the Grand Ole Opry, and hip as a trip to The Strip. Subversive as it is reverential, the album jumps the genre tracks of nitty-gritty rock-and-roll, country-and-western, rockabilly, jump swing, and gospel, landing in a strange slice of spacetime—call it 1954—when all these were One (and Linda was 7). 

Robbie Fulks, the record’s producer, is “one of the most observant and wry songwriters of the past two decades” (Rolling Stone). Ground-zero Louisiana-born rocker Linda Gail Lewis is the younger sister and frequent performing partner of Jerry Lee Lewis, whose piano innovations she carries forward. Her present-at-the-creation cred buoys the record while Robbie—who sings, plays, leads the band, writes most of the songs, and arranges the others—provides an anchoring sensibility, one that savors old sounds but sidesteps nostalgia. Their two talents have fashioned a record that’s urgent, honest, and fun. Remember fun?

“Round Too Long,” “Boogie-Woogie Country Girl,” and the title track all crackle with the unmistakable Lewis pumping piano; here is a fresh blast of the rowdy religious fire that devastated polite America 60 years ago, delivered with genetic precision and power. “It Came From the South”—co-written by NRBQ’s classic-era guitarist Al Anderson and played by its current one, Scott Ligon—recounts the origin story of rock-and-roll with pithy phrases and a neat beat. “Memphis Never Falls From Style” grooves with three of Chicago’s finest jazz elders, notably Eric Schneider, who cut his teeth in the road bands of Count Basie and Earl Hines, and whose sensational clarinet solo is one of the album’s highlights. “On The Jericho Road,” a gospel not-quite-standard that Linda and Jerry Lee sang together as children, is a Sunday song that skips along with Saturday-night joie de vivre. “Hardluck, Louisiana” recounts Linda’s childhood and is the most elegiac and reflectively intense performance—both vocal and piano—of her career. 

Robbie sings lead on “Foolmaker,” which is saturated with Stax soul. It benefits mightily from two Chicago singers, Joan Collaso and Yvonne Gage, whom he learned of not through their decades of high-visibility work with people like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Madonna, but by sitting home idly watching Empire. Two more Robbie originals, “That’s Why They Call It Temptation” and “I Just Lived A Country Song,” are the kind of weapons-grade country now found only in the shadows of Music Row. The classic “Your Red Wagon” is presented as a B3-fueled dash through a Naugahyde supper club. “Who Cares,” the Don Gibson hit, poses the question, "What can’t the great Merle Haggard sideman and Telecaster master Redd Volkaert do on a 1959 Gibson L5?" The answer: Stop playing. (The fadeout was strictly necessary.)

The crisp, unmanipulated sound of Wild! Wild! Wild! owes a lot to Alex Hall, who engineered (for instance, setting up mics and moving baffles as the group worked through arrangement issues) as well as drummed (...then hitting “record,” running across two rooms, and counting off). Alex is known for his similarly sharpening influence on records by J.D. McPherson, The Flat Five, Pokey LaFarge, and The Cactus Blossoms.

Linda Gail Lewis’s recording career spans almost 50 years, loosely bookended by the present record and 1969’s Together, her duet album with Jerry Lee—with her acclaimed summit with Van Morrison, 2000’s You Win Again, in the middle. Robbie has made 13 solo records since 1996. His last one, 2016’s Upland Stories, demonstrated expanding ambitions and strengths, and was honored with two Grammy nominations, one for Folk Album and another for American Roots Song (“Alabama At Night”).

Short Description
  • Charming, surprising, and frequently touching...it runs toward the heart, with traction.

    — Wall Street Journal
  • A carefully conceived lark. It's loose and, yes, wild, but it's also very witty and shrewd.

    — NPR Fresh Air
  • The whole is a total joy, a triumphant demonstration of the virtues of the music celebrated in the rollicking 'It Came From The South.’

    — Uncut
  • This album just crackles with energy, clarity, and unabashed enthusiasm. Fulks clearly brings out the best in Linda Gail Lewis, making this is one of the year’s strongest Americana albums.

    — Glide Magazine
  • Damn, this is some hillbilly heaven right here!

    — Ink 19
  • Wild! Wild! Wild! offers an inspired pairing of two creative individuals whose lives may have followed different paths but whose Southern hearts and souls are bound together in music.

    — PopMatters
  • A sometimes raucous, sometimes tender and always gripping survey of enduring traditional styles. Move over, Johnny and June, George and Tammy: Robbie and Linda Gail are the latest classic duo!

    — Mother Jones
  • In the context of showcasing a 71-year-old artist still in prime form, “Wild! Wild! Wild!” never succumbs to tribute-album pathos or nostalgia.

    — Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
  • Like the finest collaborations, it brings out the best in both artists. ...[an] organic, joyful partnership that sounds like the participants had as much fun putting it together as you will spending 45 exuberant minutes listening to it.

    — American Songwriter
  • The charm of “Wild, Wild, Wild” is that it is so damn nefarious. Absolutely righteous in its ability to do all the seven deadlies in world record-breaking time. 9 out of 10

    — Maximum Volume Music
  • Devilishly fun, good-natured boogie-woogie and jump swing mix with heated rockabilly, swooning country heartbreak and deep soul in traditional, genre-hopping songs that drink down Fulks’ witty lyrical insights like shots of grain alcohol.

    — Elmore Magazine
  • This is a pairing I didn't even know was possible, and now that I know it exists I've become obsessed.

    — If It's Too Loud
  • Fulks and Lewis, who if anything have become more prolific as they've gotten older, make for a rowdy one-two punch on a record with a deep bench of talent...Mixing together Lewis' Memphis roots with a modern Chicago twist...

    — Rolling Stone
  • Driven by a boogie-friendly bottom end and full-throttle piano work, the album's title track "Wild Wild Wild" is a shit-kicking romp that reignites the revolutionary spirit of more than 60 years ago when Linda Gail's older brother Jerry Lee Lewis was cutting his records at Sun Studio. 

    — Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. Round Too Long
  2. I Just Lived a Country Song
  3. That's Why They Call It Temptation
  4. Wild Wild Wild
  5. Who Cares
  6. Till Death
  7. Memphis Never Falls from Style
  8. Boogie Woogie Country Gal
  9. Foolmaker
  10. Your Red Wagon
  11. On the Jericho Road
  12. It Came from the South
  13. Hardluck, Louisiana

Listen

On Tour

Oct
18
2018

@ Duke's Indy
Indianapolis, Indiana

Oct
19
2018

@ FitzGerald's
Berwyn, Illinois

Oct
20
2018

@ C-U Folk and Roots Festival
Champaign, Illinois

Oct
21
2018

@ Bar None
Springfield, Illinois

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