Jeffrey Foucault CD release + Back in the Valley ~ $8 ~ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
New York Times
By BEN RATLIFF OCT. 14, 2015
“Salt as Wolves”
On “Salt as Wolves,” the singer-songwriter-producer Jeffrey Foucaultsings in a rich, textured, word-smearing voice about subjects of burned-out middle age: love, lying, regret, highways, hauntings, escape, aloneness, forgiveness, the value of a simple thing, the void without it. In a writerly surge in the song “Des Moines,” about a musician’s unremarkable night on the road, he remembers “the goner’d streets and dying/sunset buildings/cut with shade.” Mr. Foucault, who comes from Wisconsin and lives in western Massachusetts, is only 39. He’s a bit too good.
Behind him slithers the guitarist Bo Ramsey, with his warm, amplifier-tremolo pulsations; the unobtrusive, Zen-like bassist Jeremy Moses Curtis; the drummer Billy Conway, making wet, slow beats with brushes; and the shadow harmonies of the singer Caitlin Canty. The music flexes and rustles. It’s got open space. It implies simplicity and free will.
No way. This is some of the least simple and free music in the world. “Salt as Wolves” — his fifth album of original songs, and its title derived from Iago’s speech in Act III of “Othello” — is immaculately tailored within a certain tradition. (That tradition descends from the musical language of 1950s single-chord blues and three-chord country, as routed later through Townes Van Zandt and the bardic post-folk line that followed him.) It is aesthetically informed up to the eyes. It sounds casual, but it can grow oppressive quickly.
At worst, he’s laconic until he’s philosophical, and philosophical until he’s mythical. He invokes the silent watches of the night in pre-electronic American consciousness and uses laden images to do it — “a heart like a hurricane lamp,” “shepherd of cigarettes and gasoline.” But he doesn’t have to go all the way there. Sometimes his songs run right up to the edge of the grandiose and hold still, and that’s when he’s best.
“Des Moines,” close to perfection, does that. “I Love You (And You Are a Fool)” makes its case quickly and clearly. And “Take Your Time,” neither haunted nor mythic, flushes out some of the record’s mannered feeling. “Walk away there’s no rush,” he sings, surprisingly. “Everything is going to be just fine.”
Back in the Valley
Aaron Lometti- Guitar;
Dalisay Johnson-Fiddle,Vocals; Tom Walzem-Guitar;
Jon Crossen-Bass, Vocals;