Thursday, November 14, 2013

REVIEW: Josephine Foster - I Am A Dreamer

I became aware of Colorado's Josephine Foster earlier this year, initially via favorable comments made online by other musicians.  To be honest, that isn't an atypical way for When You Motor Away to become interested in an artist since we focus on music outside of the mass market pop scene.  I experienced Foster's considerable talent first-hand when I heard tracks from her 2012 release for Fire Records, Blood Rushing.  Although it likely isn't a very analytic thing to say, her vocal delivery has an undeniable magic: Expressive, high register, compelling and seductive.  I wanted to hear more.  And as a fortunate coincidence, just as I started paying attention to Josephine Foster news, the lovely folks at Fire Records announced that they were releasing Foster's new LP, I Am A Dreamer.

I Am A Dreamer is an aptly named Americana tapestry.  Except for a cover of Vernon Duke's "Cabin in the Sky" and borrowing from Kipling for the lyrics to "Blue Roses", Foster wrote the album.  But like Foster's vocals, and perhaps in great part because of her vocal style, the album has the sepia tone of photo albums from the early 20th Century.  She is accompanied by a nine piece band, but the arrangements are restrained, at times appropriately sparse, and allow Foster's voice to take center stage.  The variety is delightful, from the country blues of "Sugarpie I'm Not The Same", the caressingly seductive "I Am A Dreamer", the lilting but sad "No One's Calling Your Name", the gentle masterpiece that is "Magenta",  and the humorous and absolutely delightful "Amuse A Muse.

It is dreamy, romantic, and thematically timeless.  And you owe it to yourself to lend it your ears.

I Am A Dreamer was recorded in Nashville.  In addition to Foster (vocals/acoustic guitar/harmonica), the performers were Micah Hulscher (piano/organ), John Estes (double bass), Tommy Perkinson (drums), Victor Herrero (electric guitar), Dave Roe (double bass), Chris Scruggs (steel guitar), Aaron Mortenson (drums), Jerry Pentecost (drums) and Gyða Valtýsdóttir (cello).

Fire Records page for I Am A Dreamer

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