Upcoming Artist Series: Reese Fulmer & the Carriage House Band

Late last year when I was looking for someone new to focus on for this series, I asked a good friend and fellow musician Thomasina Winslow if she had any suggestions. Right away, she shot me out an email with two names, and Reese Fulmer was one of those.

Thomasina Winslow was an incredible musician and a local legend within the blues and songwriting communities, who had a keen eye for talent. She passed away suddenly last month at 57 years old, but her music will live on forever, as will the legacy of love she left behind in all who were blessed enough to know her.

Reese Fulmer at the Cock n Bull, 2022

I felt that I really needed to highlight one of the young artists that she suggested, and right away I loved Reese Fulmer and his music. I personally would describe him as a storyteller. I could listen to him forever and keep on wanting more. His calming, haunting, and methodical vocals remind me in a way of Leonard Cohen. Although when I listen to his full band, the Carriage House Band, I hear hints of folk, blues, jazz, and Americana. There is a very freeing feeling with his music, and the instruments seem to be having quite an interesting discussion amongst themselves. Totally awesome in my opinion! I listened to his “Courtyard Sessions,” where he is simply playing guitar in what I can assume is the Courtyard outside his home. And in that charming setting I love listening to him tell his stories with music.

He is an original music songwriter who went right from playing open mics and farmers markets to performing in venues where the focus was original work. He has had a pretty casual relationship with music most of his life, taking some lessons in school but never seeking it out or allowing music to become a part of who he was. That changed for Reese when he started volunteering at Caffe Lena when he was a senior in college. His experience there changed the way he understood live music and the impact it can have on people. After college, he eventually took a job at Caffe Lena and really became completely immersed in the vibrant national folk and roots scene. He was lucky enough to work dozens of shows every month and got to know the artists that played the circuit and felt the energy they brought to their performances. That experience, combined with a deepening understanding of the overall current of music history that moves through Caffe Lena, turned his whole life around and made him into the musician he is today. Thomasina told me of her life basically growing up at Caffe Lena where her father Tom Winslow performed, and this is indeed the place where Reese met her.

Reese Fulmer at the Cock n Bull, 2022

I asked him to describe his own music and he said, “I’m usually torn when it comes to this kind of question and always go with a vague and noncommittal answer. I see myself as a songwriter first and then a musician and I think my songwriting has really benefited from the lack of formal training or boundaries. It’s poetry set to music more than anything else.” If he had to assign a genre it may be indie-folk with an emphasis on indie as a measure of freedom and fluidity. In his song “When the Wall Comes Down” he talks about music being a tool to release things and being an outlet in his life and therapeutic. Being open to the light within ourselves. In “If I Was the Devil,” he talks about seeing and noting the darkness in our lives, and learning to confront that and to know ourselves better. His music really is so thoughtful and interesting and insightful. I really appreciate his fun and joyful spirit when he performs. He’s got a great openness with the audience and draws you in. Not only with the music but with the discussions he has onstage that allow the audience to really get to know him as a person first, then a performer.

I asked Reese who inspires him as a musician, and he said it’s mainly other active, independent musicians and the work they put into creating music. And “sometimes it’s the things music lets me feel or the things I discover about the world through music.” He appreciates that, being an artist, you must constantly be moving forward. He enjoys seeing his own progress as a songwriter and being able to incorporate new ideas into his music and seeing the body of work he’s created grow and change. Artists he enjoys include Chris Smither, who is his favorite songwriter. In addition to artists like Josh Ritter, Tom Waits, Paul Simon, Sam Beam, and Gregory Alan Isakov, he is especially grateful for all the musicians that surround him in his band as well as other artists in the Capital Region music scene and beyond.

photo by Kiki Vassilakis

He has put together a band that features over a dozen talented players (The Carriage House Band) and they will be appearing at venues such as The Cock n Bull, The Linda, The Hollow, The Hangar on the Hudson, The Strand, and Lark Hall, as well as returns to Caffe Lena, No Fun and the Park Theater. In the future he would love to be included in the Newport Folk Festival, but meanwhile he just wants people to come listen to his music. If you enjoy his show then he asks that you please tell all your friends about his band and bring them with you to his next show! He wants to play as many shows as possible with his band because he learns so much and it is just a joyful experience, one he is very excited to share with his audiences.

I am so excited that I had an opportunity to write about this incredible local songwriter (storyteller). His music makes me smile, makes me think, and makes me feel inspired as an artist myself. And isn’t that what life is about, inspiration!!?


Here are some links to Reese’s music on social media. I urge you to look him up and take a listen and to go see his upcoming shows. The next show is on February 23rd at the Cock n Bull in Galway. Seating is 5:30-6:30 for a 7:30 show $10 cover. Call TODAY to reserve your table at (518)882-6962.

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