Personnel: Robbie Fulks (vocals, guitar); Ora Jones (vocals); D. Clinton Thompson (electric guitar); Paul Carestia, Tom Brumley (pedal steel); Keith Bauman (lap steel); Tuey Connell (lap steel, banjo); Casey Driessen (fiddle); Steve Rosen (fiddle, background vocals); Joe Terry (piano, keyboards); Brett Simmons, Daren Wilcox, Lou Whitney (bass); Dan Massey, Bobby Lloyd Hicks (drums); The Skeletons (background vocals).
Personnel: Robbie Fulks (vocals, guitar); Ora Jones (vocals); D. Clinton Thompson (electric guitar); Keith Baumann (lap steel guitar); Steve Rosen (fiddle, background vocals); Casey Driessen (fiddle); Joe Terry (piano, keyboards); Lou Whitney (bass guitar); Bobby Lloyd Hicks (drums); The Skeletons (background vocals).
On his debut album, Fulks keeps the spirit of cry-in-your-beer honky-tonk music alive. While he's musically conservative, employing traditional, mostly acoustic instrumentation and classic country song structures, his lyrical muse runs further afield. On "She Took A Lot Of Pills And Died," the mere title of which should earn him a spot in the Country Hall Of Fame, and "Let's Live Together," his sardonic humor adds a twist to the proceedings, but he never gets self-conscious or detached enough to mitigate the emotional impact. Stark, self-effacing tunes like "Barely Human" and "Rock Bottom, Pop. 1" combine heartfelt sentiment with Fulks' knack for killer songwriting, making a direct connection to the heart and head simultaneously.
Fulks, who has already been covered by country-rock cult heroes the Five Chinese Brothers, is backed here by some fine players, including members of the celebrated roots-rock band The Skeletons, and the album moves with ease between the various sub-genres of trad country. From barroom weepers to barnstormers and western swing, Fulks' rough-and-ready vocal delivery and top-shelf tunes come across with freshness and vitality. COUNTRY LOVE SONGS is the closest a fella whose name ain't George Jones can come to making a perfect honky-tonk album.
Option (11-12/96, p.104) - "...Fulks backs up his tales of quirk and strangeitude with traditional hillbilly, honky-tonk and western swing arrangements, but it's his personality that drives the material past 'neotraditional' into the realm of the bizarre."