Diggin’: Preston Fulp’s “Careless Love”

Preston FulpListen: Careless Love

As a new intern at Music Makers, I have been introduced to so many great new artists and sounds. A graduate student in the school of social work at UNC Chapel Hill, I am also a long time musician who sings and plays the violin, viola, guitar and bass. When I was tasked with picking a song from the extensive archive to feature for the Diggin’ section I was understandably a bit overwhelmed. I settled on the beautifully haunting voice of Preston Fulp and the track ‘Careless Love’. At first listen, the sweetness in Fulp’s voice reminded me of present day Austin singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston, another singer with a unique high tenor. ‘Careless Love’ is off of Preston Fulp’s only MM release, 1998‘s ‘Sawmill Worker’ . There is an endearing intimacy to the recording, the floor creaks in the background and you can hear a faint shuffling before his melodic fingerpicking begins the song on the destructive power of love.

Like many great blues artists, Fulp does his own interpretation on a classic song from the blues and jazz canon. ‘Careless Love’ was originally made famous by the Buddy Bolden Band out of New Orleans in the early 1900’s. Other notable takes on the song include renditions by Bessie Smith, Pete Seeger and Fats Domino. Even though various artists have changed or altered the lyrics for their own creative purposes, the underlying message of the corruptive power of temptation and love remains;

“love, oh love, oh careless love/ in your clutches of desire/you’ve made me break a many true vow/ then you set my very soul on fire”

If you enjoy being transported to another place by music, where a distinct voice has the ability to create the type of mood that can’t be replicated in any other way, then Preston Fulp is a must listen. Check out the rest of ‘Sawmill Worker’ for other great acoustic blues music.

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