In public-relations terms, the Grim Reaper is a bit of a nightmare client. Few people look with any favor on the inevitability of his work, and he's followed by sorrow and destruction wherever he goes.
Scythe, lack of skin and ominous cowl notwithstanding, Lindsay Fuller thinks Death is simply misunderstood, an idea she explores in her upcoming album, "You, Anniversary," which is due out March 27.
"I just think that you can't think about life without thinking about death," the Seattle-based singer/songwriter said. "When we lose someone, we start to really think about what's going on and wake up for a bit.
"I'm just fascinated with what happens to us. Are we just like computers that shut down? It's just a great big mystery I've always been fascinated with."
Fuller, 31, was raised in Birmingham, Ala., where she started playing guitar at age 8.
At age 12, she began writing music after hearing folk artists such as Bob Dylan and The Indigo Girls, whose poetic lyrics continued to inform her work even after she relocated to the Pacific Northwest in her early 20s.
After the release of Fuller's last album, "The Last Light at Sea," in 2010, she sent a copy to Ray along with a note thanking Ray for her influence on her music. That inspired a lasting friendship and partnership that culminated in Ray's participation on Fuller's upcoming album and a tour of the Southeast that will bring them to Rhythm & Brews on Tuesday.
To Fuller, the whole experience still feels slightly unreal.
"It's strange is what it is. It's strange and bizarre -- but awesome," Fuller said. "She's so encouraging to me. I'm really grateful for her friendship."
Fuller said she's also looking forward to expanding her touring circuit to the Southeast, a move made possible by signing to ATO Records last year.
Despite her mixed feelings about the South when she was growing up, Fuller said she realized after moving away that there were qualities particular to the area that other places couldn't match.
"There's a part of the South that I'll never shake," she said. "Yeah, I definitely felt out of place growing up in the South, in a way. There is a lot of close-mindedness there. ... But I'm glad I grew up there.
"I definitely enjoy coming back to visit. ... There's something special about the South."
IF YOU GO
What: Amy Ray with Lindsay Fuller and Jeff Fielder.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.
Venue website: www.rhythm-brews.com.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...