The final Summer Breeze of the 2017 season brings Depot Members' Choice artist John Fullbright to Lions Park at Flood and Symmes. Music begins at 7:30 pm on Sunday, August 20, 2017. Bring seating, your favorite refreshments, and settle in to enjoy a free, family friendly concert.
John Fullbright grew up on an 80-acre farm in Okemah, OK. He began playing the piano at age five and taking piano lessons at age nine. In 2009, while still attending Okemah High School, Fullbright made his debut performance at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, thus beginning his solo career.
He released the album, Live at the Blue Door in 2009 as well, and three years later released his first studio album From the Ground Up to a swarm of critical acclaim. The album received a Grammy nomination in the category Best Americana Album. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self-assured,” while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.” The Wall Street Journal crowned Fullbright as giving one of the year’s 10 best live performances.
For Fullbright, however, it hasn’t been all the acclaim that means the most to him, but rather his entrance into a community of songwriters whose work he admires. “When I started out, I was all by myself in a little town in Oklahoma where whatever you wanted, you just made it yourself,” he explains. “I didn’t grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters, but I grew up around records. One of the most fulfilling things about all this ... is that now I’m surrounded by like-minded people in a community of peers...and don’t feel so alone anymore.”
On the opening track of his new album, Songs, Fullbright sings “What’s so bad about happy?” To be sure, Songs has its moments of darkness, tracks born from pain and heartbreak, but for a craftsman like Fullbright, there are few greater joys than carving emotion into music, taking a stab at that lofty goal of immortality through song. It makes him—and his fans—happy, and there’s nothing bad about that.
Songs also reflects how drastically Fullbright’s life has changed since the release of From The Ground Up, which launched him into a rigorous schedule of international touring. “Going Home” finds him appreciating the simple pleasure of heading back to Oklahoma, which he likens to The Odyssey. “When you’re gone for so long, once you know you’re headed in the right direction to your own bed and your own home, that’s one of the greatest feelings you can have,” he says.
Summer Breeze Concerts are a program of The Depot, a non-profit arts organization located in the historic and newly restored Norman Depot at 200 S. Jones.
Summer Breeze Concerts are made possible, in part, by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Arts Council. Additional support comes from Sponsor: Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School & Kindergarten, from Contributors: Republic Bank of Norman; Dentists Jamie Belknap, Donna Sparks and Kristen Campbell at Norman Smile Center; Tom McAuliffe at Don Cies Real Estate; Hugh and Keri Young; Inter Bank; 2 Green Chicks; The Mont; D.M. Wealth Management, Inc.; Edward Jones; The Montford Inn, and from Friends: Nancy McClellan and Sooner Carpet, Air Duct & Restoration; Bruce & Trisha Bunce, and from Neighbors Yoga Life and Bob Schlegel. Major in-kind support comes from Norman Parks and Recreation Department.