John Fullbright: The Man (And Album) Written In Oklahoma | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

John Fullbright: The Man (And Album) Written In Oklahoma

Play associated audio

Okemah, Okla. — the birthplace of Woody Guthrie — has another musical native son to call its own. John Fullbright's recordings mix folk, country and blues, and his lyrics often tackle big-picture topics.

"I grew up with a lot of questions that couldn't really seem to be answered," Fullbright tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "Why are we here? Did some higher power make all of this? Did he make me? And songwriting is kind of your own voice, your strongest voice, that you can use to ask yourself those questions."

Fullbright explores another voice in his song "Gawd Above." Sung from God's perspective, the song is rooted in biblical wit.

"It was an interesting song to write," Fullbright says. "I wanted there to be a sense of humor — God with a gold tooth in his smile."

Fullbright technically grew up in Bearden, a town on the outskirts of Okemah that's too small for its own post office. Fullbright still lives on his family's farm, which has an Okemah zip code, and it was there that he found much of the inspiration for his latest album, From the Ground Up.

"[My family] had a little farm, about 80 acres — that's where I live now. The little farmhouse that I was raised in until I was about 9, that's where the title came from," Fullbright says. "Every song on this record was written in that house, and I was kind of written in that house."

Though only 24, Fullbright sings like an old soul — someone with years of setbacks and heartbreak behind him. He says that soulful, experienced sound comes from '"years spent locked in his room thinking about things" and a knowledge of music's natural cues and tones.

"I've been a piano player since I was a child, 5 or 6," Fullbright says. "And I can remember sitting at a piano and figuring out that a minor chord means sad, and an upbeat song means happy, and you can explain it all without having to really say anything."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."
NPR

Author And His Daughter Cook Around The World And You Can Too

Kelly McEvers talks to food writer Mark Kurlansky and his daughter Talia about their cookbook International Night, based on their tradition of cooking a meal every week from a different country.
NPR

Outside Group Mirrors Successful Strategies Of Political Parties

A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs in Iowa, and the GOP has opened 11 field offices statewide. But there's also a new team working the state, the Virginia-based group Americans for Prosperity.
NPR

Who Owns A Monkey's Selfie? No One Can, U.S. Says

The U.S. Copyright Office says a monkey's photo can't be copyrighted — by the person who owns the camera or anyone else — because it wasn't taken by a human.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.