Con Fullam – The First 40 Years

January 01, 1970

(self-released)

 

www.confullam.com

 

This
collection is a self-released box set of 65 songs stretched over four CDs by
someone who has been kicking around the Nashville and East Coast music scenes
as a producer and songwriter for the better part of 40 years. It’s also the
first thing that Fullam, now 60, has released as a solo artist. This is a
strange kind of slate-clearing effort by the well-meaning Fullam, and one that
I strangely admire for its sheer chutzpah. I just wish the music on it were
better.

 

Three
of the discs were recorded over two days, live to hard drive, with a variety of
session musicians from the areas where they were recorded – Maine, Connecticut,
and Nashville (the fourth is a compilation of Fullam-penned tracks recorded by
a variety of artists). In that sense, this collection is a remarkable
achievement, showcasing the professionalism of the musicians recruited for it
and for their strong playing throughout. As well, there’s a warm quality of
Fullam’s singing, reminiscent of a throatier James Taylor.

 

These
are easy songs to listen to. Unfortunately, they are also easy songs to forget.
They ping from loping ’70s MOR replete with smooth sax playing to sleek Alabama
(the band, not the state)-style country to charming folk with ease, but,
achieve no lasting quality that will elevate them beyond easy on the ears
background music. Too, Fullam’s lyrical output breaks no new ground. He drags
his pen across the well-worn themes of love, loss, memory, regret, and the
beauty of life and nature. The imagery is hoary, the rhyme schemes too easy and
the goofy songs here (“7 Numbers To Recovery,” “One State Closer
To Texas”) rife with groan-worthy puns and wordplay.

 

What
sparks of quality are to be found on here are easily superseded by the sheer
breadth of material that surrounds it. Yet had the discs all been pared down to a
single CD of the best material, this could have been an easy toe dipping into
the turbulent waters of a dying music industry.

 

Standout Tracks: “Hurricane
Comin’,” “Just Down The Road,” “Quiet Times” ROBERT
HAM

 

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