Jake Xerxes Fussell

When I'm Called (Fat Possum)

Contact Sam McAllister, Yuri Kwon about Jake Xerxes Fussell

Singer, guitarist, and folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell announces his new album, When I’m Called—his debut for Fat Possum, out July 12th—alongside its lead single, “Going To Georgia,” and an extensive tour of North America, UK, and Europe.

 

When I’m Called is Fussell’s richest work to date, a slate of warm instrumental textures abetting his glowing guitar and weathered baritone. It’s also Fussell’s first album as a parent, and sees him returning to a well of music that holds lifelong sentimental meaning, contemplating the passage of time and the procession of life’s unexpected offerings. When I’m Called is produced by James Elkington, mixed by Tucker Martine, and features contributions from Elkington (guitar, piano, dobro, synth, organ, pedal steel, mandola, harmonica, arrangements), Blake Mills (guitar), Joan Shelley (vocals), Ben Whiteley (bass), Joe Westerlund (drums, percussion), Robin Holcomb (vocals), Anna Jacobson (horns), Jean Cook (strings), and Hunter Diamond (woodwinds).

 

Recognized for his compelling  transliterations of traditional music, Fussell took an atypical approach to the material on When I’m Called, often constructing the music from the ground up, before considering what existing source material could be applied to the song. Though his affection for ballads spans mountainous Appalachian tunes to sea shanties and everything in between, Fussell has found himself particularly close to field recordings made in the 1960s and ’70s by painter, musician, and folklorist Art Rosenbaum—one of Fussell’s beloved late mentors, who died in September 2022. When I’m Called’s lead single, “Going To Georgia,” showcasing Fussell’s trademark guitar stylings, is one such tune.

 

“I learned the traditional song ‘Going to Georgia’ from a few different places so my version is something of a collage” explains Fussell. “There are a number of variants out there. Ralph Stanley played a version of it, as did the great song collector and revivalist/interpreter Paul Clayton. My main source was an early 1980s field recording of The Eller Family of Hiawassee, Georgia, brought to us by artist-documentarians Art and Margo Rosenbaum via their wonderful Folkways anthology Folk Visions & Voices: Traditional Music and Song in Northern Georgia.”

 

Over the last decade, Fussell’s acclaimed line of work has taken him all around the world and back. Reared in Georgia and now settled in North Carolina, he’s established himself as a devoted listener and contemplative interpreter of a vast array of lovingly sourced folk songs.

 

In tandem to his relationship to Rosenbaum, Fussell traces his love of post-war field recordings to his upbringing by song-collecting folklorist parents, whose enthusiasm for their itinerant work surrounded their son in many different musics for as long as he can remember. That early-life intensive had a profound impact on Fussell’s sense of time around music that, too often, gets treated as a museum piece. “When I was getting really deep into traditional music as a teenager, I tended to see it more in a continuum, like, ‘This is all tied into an ongoing world,’” he says. In the ringing warmth of When I’m Called, Fussell honors traditions while carrying them into a new generation’s field of vision, deepening his own understanding of his part in the “ongoing world.” He’s charted his own terrain of growth and change without any hurry toward a destination, and in his guitar-guided meditations, Fussell plucks at the threads that keep humanity knotted together.

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Tour

  •  
    Jun 21, 2024
    Roanoke, VA
    Spot on Kirk

  •  
    Jun 22, 2024
    Richmond, VA
    Richmond Music Hall

  •  
    Jun 23, 2024
    Mt. Solon, VA
    Red Wing Roots Festival

  •  
    Jun 25, 2024
    Baltimore, MD
    Metro Gallery

  •  
    Jun 27, 2024
    New York, NY
    Le Poisson Rouge

  •  
    Jun 28, 2024
    Catskill, NY
    Avalon Lounge

  •  
    Jun 29, 2024
    Burlington, VT
    Higher Ground

  •  
    Jul 16, 2024
    San Diego, CA
    The Casbah

  •  
    Jul 17, 2024
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Barnsdall Gallery

  •  
    Jul 18, 2024
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Brisol's Cider House

  •  
    Jul 19, 2024
    Felton, CA
    Felton Music Hall

  •  
    Jul 20, 2024
    San Francisco, CA
    The Chapel

  •  
    Jul 21, 2024
    Sacramento, CA
    Harlow's

  •  
    Jul 23, 2024
    Bend, OR
    Volcanic Pub

  •  
    Jul 24, 2024
    Portland, OR
    Mississippi Studios

  •  
    Jul 25, 2024
    Seattle, WA
    Tractor Tavern

  •  
    Jul 26, 2024
    Bellingham, WA
    Wild Buffalo

  •  
    Jul 27, 2024
    Vancouver, BC
    Wise Hall

  •  
    Sep 26, 2024
    Lafayette, LA
    Acadiana Center for the Arts