Subscribe - enter your email below

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ROUTES & BRANCHES 
a home for the americana diaspora
October 10, 2015
Scott Foley


There's one note
If you can play it
There's one word
If you can say it
There's one prayer
If you can pray it
Each one
Is the same
 That's Jeffrey Foucault on "Slow Talker", from his new record, Salt As Wolves.  Guitarist Bo Ramsey contributes a seething stream-of-consciousness blues groove, while former Morphine drummer and loyal sideman Billy Conway punctuates with a stuttering rhythm.  Elsewhere on Foucault's new studio record, you'll find fellow singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty adding backing vocals (see their take on Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Jesus Will Fix It For You" for some of the darkest gospel blues you're bound to hear).  That's it, though, aside from Jeremy Moses Curtis' bass. It's what one review termed Foucault's "minimalist americana" - a sound shot through with space, holy ghost haunted and live to tape.  Here's "Des Moines":  
And we watched the house
Filling up with no one
But God was listening
He cupped his ear
While Foucault's initial recordings were embraced by the contemporary folk crowd, he's always overflowed that basket with moments that owe more to blues or to country or even gospel.  His album length ode to John Prine, Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes, was a telling tribute to another artist who charted his own course.  2006's Ghost Repeater remains a personal touchpoint for me, quiet music that runs deceptively deep.  The artist himself has reported that Salt As Wolves is his stab at a blues inflected record.  If that's the case, Ramsey serves as an essential foil for Foucault, dragging out his dirtier, muddier tendencies.  Jeffrey Foucault does pretty, too, especially as he plays off Canty's contributions on tracks like the sweet "I Love You (And You Are a Fool)" or the sublime "Hurricane Lamp".  Her transcendent moment happens, however, with the Stones-y "Left This Town", where she evokes the gospel wails of "Gimme Shelter".  Salt As Wolves is a CD that gives credence to the idea that "quiet is the new loud", with the spirit of Foucault's new songs ringing long after the record draws to a close.

* Jason Boland & the Stragglers, "Comal County Blue (live)"  High In the Rockies  (Apex, 10)
* Jason Boland & the Stragglers, "Heartland Bypass"  Squelch  (Thirty Tigers, 15)
* Wood Brothers, "River Of Sin"  Paradise  (Thirty Tigers, 15)
* Leon Bridge, "Shine"  Coming Home (Columbia, 15)
* Shawn Amos, "Brand New Man"  Rev Shawn Amos Loves You  (Put Together, 15)  D
* Jim Lauderdale, "Worth the Wait"  Soul Searching  (Sky Crunch, 15)
* Colin Linden, "Knob and Tube"  Rich In Love  (Stony Plain, 15)
* White Buffalo, "Come On Love Come On In"  Love and the Death Of Damnation  (Unison, 15)
* Phil Lee, "Wake Up Crying"  Some Gotta Lose  (Phil Lee, 15)  D
* Dave Rawlings Machine, "Short Haired Woman Blues"  Nashville Obsolete  (Acony, 15)
* Infamous Stringdusters, "American Girl"  Undercover  (Lumberhouse, 15)  D
* Hailey Whitters, "Long Come To Jesus"  Black Sheep  (Carnival, 15)  D
* Joey Cape, "Gone Baby Gone"  Stitch Puppy  (Fat Wreck Chords, 15)
* Damnations, "Bring It On Home Daddy"  Cold and Bitter Tears: Songs Of Ted Hawkins  (Eight 30, 15)
* Noah Gundersen, "Slow Dancer"  Carry the Ghost  (Dualtone, 15)
* Aaron Lee Tasjan, "Lucinda's Room"  In the Blazes  (First of 3, 15)  D
^ Jeffrey Foucault, "Des Moines"  Salt As Wolves  (Blueblade, 15)  D
* Elvis Costello, "April 4th (w/Rosanne Cash & Kris Kristofferson)"  Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album  (Universal, 15) D
* Ryan Adams, "Wildest Dreams"  1989  (PaxAm, 15)
* Alone At 3am, "Late 90s"  Show the Blood  (Sofaburn, 15)
* Supersuckers, "High and Outside"  Holdin' the Bag  (Acetate, 15)
* Sons Of Bill, "Unknown Legend (live)"  Love & Logic (Deluxe)  (Gray Fox, 15)
* Drive-by Truckers, "Runaway Train (live)"  It's Great To Be Alive!  (ATO, 15)
* Lucero, "I Woke Up In New Orleans"  All a Man Should Do  (ATO, 15)
* Richmond Fontaine, "Capsized"  Thirteen Cities  (El Cortez, 07)
* Von Stomper, "New Orleans"  Americado  (Von Stomper, 15)  C

No comments: