The characters in Robbie Fulks' songs don't put down roots; rather, it often appears as though the earth itself reaches up to snag them, locking them hopelessly in place. "The choice was never mine … I just dwell where I fell," sings the narrator on "Where I Fell," a standout track off the Chicago singer-songwriter's 2013 album Gone Away Backward.

The characters in Robbie Fulks' songs don't put down roots; rather, it often appears as though the earth itself reaches up to snag them, locking them hopelessly in place. "The choice was never mine … I just dwell where I fell," sings the narrator on "Where I Fell," a standout track off the Chicago singer-songwriter's 2013 album Gone Away Backward.

Elsewhere, Fulks, accompanied by a gentle assortment of acoustic guitar, bluegrass fiddle and loping standup bass, turns out hard-luck tunes about characters fighting to overcome depressions both economic and personal.