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Fresh Tracks: Jake Xerxes Fussell is “Going to Georgia”

Jake Xerxes Fussell, the indie artist known for reinterpreting traditional folk songs with a fresh eye, is back with a new single. “Going to Georgia” is a wistful, reflective tune that’s seen many iterations, as Fussell can best explain.

“I learned the traditional song ‘Going to Georgia’ from a few different places so my version is something of a collage” he said in a statement. “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.”

Fussell knows his stuff. He grew up with folklorist parents and makes it his work to unearth old field recordings and lost songs from the Appalachians and beyond. But in his hands, the songs take new form, thanks to Fussell’s crafty fingerpicking, atmospheric arrangements, and backing from the many stellar musicians living in his current hometown of Durham, N.C.

“Going to Georgia” comes from the upcoming album When I’m Called, which will be released by Fat Possum on July 12. Fussell’s debut for the label was produced by James Elkington and mixed by Tucker Martine, who’s known for his work with the Decemberists and My Morning Jacket. The record features a great cast of players, including Blake Mills, Joan Shelley, and Joe Westerlund. 

Fussell will tour in support of the album this summer, notably performing at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on June 23. More regional dates can be found below.

Jake Xerxes Fussell Tour Dates
Thu. May 16 – Charlotte, N.C. @ The Evening Muse
Fri. May 17 – Asheville, N.C. @ The Outpost
Sat. May 18 – Talbotton, Ga. @ Talbotton Fest
Sun. May 19 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Saturn
Fri. June 21 – Roanoke, Va. @ Spot on Kirk
Sat. June 22 – Richmond, Va. @ Richmond Music Hall
Sun. June 23 – Mt. Solon, Va. @ Red Wing Roots Festival
Tue. June 25 – Baltimore, Md. @ Metro Gallery

Photo by Kate Medley

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