Robbie Fulks and Danny Barnes

"Thirteen linear feet of duo" is how Danny Barnes describes his collaboration with alt-country maverick Robbie Fulks. The two have been collaborating during the last year, ever since they were commissioned to score the 1926 Al Langdon silent film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp. Both men have huge musical vocabularies that stretch well beyond the border of country and folk, so they seem particularly well suited to such a project. Former Bad Livers leader Barnes is an avowed genre jumper; his groundbreaking eight-year-old Bad Livers record Blood and Mood married bluegrass to hip-hop. Fulks, a music teacher when he isn't touring, also refuses to acknowledge any genre barriers in his music. Much of the program for this show will no doubt involve playing the as-yet-unrecorded film score. But given Fulks's tendency toward oddly brilliant choices of cover songs -- he's done ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" for years -- it's safe to assume they'll take a stab at Beck's "Loser," which received stunning treatment on Barnes's 2003 release Dirt on the Angel. This show will likely range from old-time minstrelsy to mile-a-minute bluegrass to free-form jazz, with unexpected whistle stops in between.
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William Michael Smith