LIVE: Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks @ Ale House, 7/19/15
Review and photographs by Ed Conway
It was a dark and stormy Sunday night at the Ale House in Troy when Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks sat down in front of a nearly full house. The two traded songs, licks and stories throughout the evening. Each seemed set on making the other one laugh, along with the audience. In fact, some of the funniest moments were not spoken but when they would let their guitars speak for them.
Currently hailing from Austin, Volkaert is one of the best guitar players I have heard. He can make his Telecaster sing with a playing style so light he makes it look easy. Watching his fingers play over the fretboard, you quickly realize that the guitar is a part of him with a direct connection between his brain and fingers without the delay of conscious thought. It’s no wonder there’s a mighty impressive resume of people he has played with. He has toured with Merle Haggard; played with Dale Watson, Commander Cody and a list of others way too long to put here.
Chicago’s Robbie Fulks is no slouch on the guitar either. The alt country performer has a bluegrass style more befitting his acoustic guitar. Throughout the night, however, his devilish appeal and humorous lyrics proved to be the perfect antidote to the nasty thunder storms passing through outside. From his ode to Buck Owens to a Michael Jackson cover, the audience never knew what was coming next.
All in all it was like watching two friends sitting on a porch and playing. There was no set list, as each took turns playing whatever song came to mind.