Thursday, November 12 7:30 PM
“Contemporary and timeless.”
– The New York Times
I first saw Foucault play in a little Missoula theatre years ago, when many of us who grew up spinning our elders’
albums—Townes and Dylan, John Prine and Greg Brown—wandered around dolorously wondering when the next real songwriter would come along. Stetson sweaty, that little vagabond spark in his eye, he spun out a long Beam-fueled set and when it was over I walked out into the warm rain and thought, Damn. So that’s where he’s been. Since then Foucault has given American poetry some of its most vital lines and his musical searchings have become touchstones of density and durability. On this new record—his most poignant, honest, even scathing—his cry is a belt of pure blue Wisconsin lake ice with a back of December sunlight angling through bare limbed birches. Not so much penned as lived, these songs—about a show played perfectly to an empty bar, the real ones who die with nothing half the time— offer listeners that rare artistic combination of a voice and a world. And while there’s nothing not lonely about these songs, you can’t hear them and feel remotely alone. Here is our hurricane lamp, the heart whose flame won’t go out, whatever the wind. Hold it close.
-Chris Dombrowski (from the liner notes to SALT AS WOLVES)
A show played perfectly to an empty bar. A singer with life and death on his shoulders, swinging a microphone like Samson swung a jawbone. The real ones who die with nothing half the time. With SALT AS WOLVES, Jeffrey Foucault gives us in sound and image what poet and author Chris Dombrowski calls in the album’s liner notes, “that rare artistic combination of a voice and a world”: a tough, spare collection of darkly rendered blues and ballads, like a field recording of a place that never existed. In a series of letters to lovers, friends, heroes, and family, Foucault deftly weaves together disparate strands of sound and experience, raw love, and hard wisdom.
10 String Symphony is an arena for mesmerizing acoustic innovation. Although difficult to categorize, their music is instantly recognizable as a blend of two distinct but equally vivacious musical voices, encompassing “aggressive, almost discordant, Celtic and dare I say punky string-chording experimentations” (The Bluegrass Situation).
Christian Sedelmyer (Jerry Douglas Band, Farewell Drifters) and Rachel Baiman met in Nashville, and realized a mutual love for the range and depth of the 5-String fiddle. Their desire to see just how far a two-fiddle, two-vocals instrumentation could take them was the inspiration for the 10 String Symphony project. By the time their first full-length album was released, their instrumentation had expanded to include the occasional clawhammer banjo and resonator mandolin, though still maintaining a, tightly woven and thoughtfully arranged sound.
Only two years old as a band, the duo has already gained recognition and attention from some major festivals, landing slots at the ROMP festival in Owensboro, KY, the Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, CA, and a headlining slot at the 2014 Auckland Folk Festival in New Zealand.