A YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO JOSEPHINE FOSTER

JOSEPHINE FOSTER’s bizarre, avant-folk songs travel musical history via a ghostly linkage with the Appalachian porch whisperers of the pre-WWII era, with a pinch of the British Isles folk touch to boot. One thing for certain about her these days is that she doesn’t stand in one place for too long – witness her most recent CD, “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”, a German-language run through 19th century tunes that was even too much for me to take. Recently I heard some new material of hers and it was weird-ass, free-form noise. It’s OK – I am fully on board, because I think she is a singular talent, and one of this decade’s true originals. I love the delicate complexity of each ringing tone she coaxes out of her guitar with strange tunings and stranger patterns, and with a voice that’s equally as eerie (and beautiful beyond doubt), and which goes through every imaginable permutation to get to the deep emotional truth at each song’s core. Foster’s lungs take a little bit of patience for the uninitiated, but at least she sounds like a w-o-m-a-n, albeit a woman transported from 16th century England tearooms by way of Mary Poppins films.

I’m picking a representative smattering of five songs from her catalog for ya. Two are from a heavy psych/folk CD she put out with a backing band called The Supposed (“All The Leaves Are Gone”); one is from her second-ever homemade CD-R (“Little Life”) – she has about a half-dozen of those, and you can order some of them right here; one is from her fantastic CD from 2005 “Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You” ; and one was a freebie cover song of THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS, whom Foster has collaborated with) on a comp that came with THE BELIEVER literary magazine. All are superlative. If you like this, there’s a lot, lot more to delve into.

Play or Download JOSEPHINE FOSTER & THE SUPPOSED – “Well-Heeled Men” (from 2004 “All The Leaves Are Gone” CD)
Play or Download
JOSEPHINE FOSTER – “The Golden Window” (from June 2005 compilation CD included with “The Believer” magazine)
Play or Download
JOSEPHINE FOSTER – “There Are Eyes Above” (from 2005 “Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You” CD)
Play or Download JOSEPHINE FOSTER – “Francie’s Song” (from 2001 “Little Life” CD-R)
Play or Download JOSEPHINE FOSTER & THE SUPPOSED – “John Ave. Seen From The Gray Train” (from 2004 “All The Leaves Are Gone” CD)

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