Robbie Fulks The Very Best Of...

Bouncing back after a major label mishap, this wildly entertaining release assembles some of Fulks’s odds and ends to a wonderful effect: it instantly converts new listeners, and provides plenty of worthy rarities for longtime fans. Dozens of alt-country yahoos claim to be the punk rock protege of Hank Williams, but Fulks has all the goods: great storytelling; lyrics that are alternately heartbreaking, corny and witty; some hot licks from a fast-pickin’ band and the perfunctory nasal whine that ties everything together. You can spot the best songs from their titles, namely the nasty “Roots Rock Weirdoes.” “Parallel Bars” is a shit-kickin’ duet with Kelly Willis, and “Love Ain’t Nothin’” deserves to be a classic. Fulks puts it best in the liner notes: “I certainly hope your enjoyment of my music exceeds the material gain it has afforded me.” (Bloodshot)