Monday, November 24, 2014

Matt Fugate's "Believement"


The Blue Fugates of Kentucky. 

Heard of ‘em? 

They’re a family from the Troublesome Creek region (as if the name of the creek wasn’t foreshadowing enough) who, as a result of inbreeding, began to produce kids with Smurfy-blue skin. 

True story, and it’s one that the very funny Matt Fugate doesn’t necessarily hesitate to share. Not that he’s particularly proud of his distant relation to that particular branch of the family tree, but he doesn’t mind a little egg on his face if it’s good for a laugh.

On his project “Believement” there’s plenty of egg - and laughs - to go around. 

Fugate takes hit after hit for the team, recounting one embarrassing transgression after another and giving us complete freedom to laugh at his expense. Despite being a professional comedian, he finds himself being outdone by the class clown in his child’s elementary school lunch room and he can’t understand why the pronunciation of his last name (“few-gate”) seems to stump so many people (not “fyoo-zhay” or “foo-gotti”). [Ed's Note: It’s a little puzzling to me, too, but maybe that’s because there was actually a kid in my school for a few years with the same last name. ]

The granddaddy of these tales, "Matt vs. the Dance Floor," is so epic it had to be cut into two segments. I like how he leaves the second half of the time he tried to “go for it” on the dance floor at a wedding as his closer, leaving the crowd hanging with a “to be continued” vibe as he forces us to wait to find out what happens in the exciting conclusion. It’s well worth the wait and a nicely constructed way of amping the anticipation for the second half of the story. And can I just say that he perfectly describes the sound of a skull cracking against a marble floor? Just listening hurt my head and - judging by the audiences reaction - the heads of everyone within the sound of his voice.

The album isn’t just one tale of sad-sackery after another as Fugate is more  than willing to point out he isn’t the only goofball bumbling around in public. There are the various religions and their unique approaches to door-to-door proselytizing. There are the people who decide which eggs get which grade (how bad does one have to be to get a “B”?) and the people who complain that gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of their third marriage. 

And then, of course, there are the real assholes. He’s referring, of course, to 13-year-olds and no one seems to be very eager to disagree. 

Fugate is a fun storyteller (his child’s teacher will attest to this fact) and time flies when you’re listening to the CD. He’s engaging and his enthusiasm is infectious and you’ll love his impression of the sound of a room full of hungry grade-schoolers. His daughter, in all of her car salesman-y fervor, explains that it takes three things to achieve the seemingly impossible: Skill, heart, and “believement.”

Her dad has all three in spades.

No comments:

Post a Comment