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  • Writer's pictureAlex Court

'Little By Little' Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty

Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty’s single, “Little By Little,” is all about the incremental nature of change. Taken from the Positive Numbers album, this is a rocking little song, with a strong Southern rock resemblance. Fulton sings it passionately over a roots rock groove, and decidedly touches an emotional nerve through its words.

“Little by little” changes are like that glass half full/glass half empty analogy. It’s all in how you look at it, and what your circumstances are like while examining that glass. When you view the glass with a positive attitude, the cup looks half full. Similarly, when you’re in a hopeful mood, you count every step forward as getting closer to your destination -- little by little. However, with a more negative perspective, you may notice progress, but you’re ONLY moving little by little.

It’s not entirely clear whether or not Fulton is taking a positive attitude with the lyrics to his single. For instance, he admits that little by little, he’s growing old. Nobody wants to get old. We want to stay forever young, as the Bob Dylan song states. However, Fulton must also admit that – whether he fully realizes it or not – he’s aging. We all are.

There are places during this song, though, where Fulton sounds to be in restless mode during the recent pandemic. He sings about playing music on his front porch. This could be a reference to how musicians weren’t able to tour during the approximately two-year pandemic. However, little by little society began to return to normal. Eventually, touring artists would be able to take their music on the road again.

Fulton also refers to an increasing ambition when he sings, “Each night I dream a bit more.” Yes, it’s necessary for a man to be thankful for what he has. Then again, he doesn’t want to just settle for what he has when his dreams haven’t been completely fulfilled. When, for instance, a musician doesn’t feel as though his music has been properly appreciated, he’s going to want more attention. That’s only natural.

"Little By Little" single STREAMING:

"Little By Little" VIDEO:

Toward the track’s end, one can hear some really nice acoustic piano in the mix of this song. There’s plenty of loud guitar and drum work on it elsewhere, which somewhat obscures this slightly obscured keyboard inclusion. The piano, though, asserts itself about three-quarters of the way through, and is the recording’s best instrumental part. This playing has a kind of honky tonk feel and is just a delight to the ear.

Few of us want little changes in our lives. We want it all and we want it now, most of the time. With that said, though, we may not be quite ready for so much change – even good change – all at once. Call it fate, or God or the universe, but someone/something might know that limited alteration is what is best for us right now. Fulton sings about how he “always wants more.” But what we WANT and what we NEED, are oftentimes two very different things.

Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty’s “Little By Little” succeeds so well as a single because it expresses a restlessness, we have all experienced before.

-Dan MacIntosh


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