|Josephine Foster — I’m a Dreamer (2013)|
Josephine Foster — I’m a Dreamer
♠♠ Chicago-based singer/songwriter with a love for all things Tin Pan Alley, British folk, German lieder, and psychedelic rock.
Member of: Born Heller, Josephine Foster & the Supposed, The Children's Hour
Location: Boulder, Colorado ~ Chicago, Illinois ~ Valley Stream, Nassau County, New York
Notable instruments: Guitar, Harp, piano
Album release: November 11th, 2013
Record Label: Fire Records
Format: available on LP/CD
01 Sugarpie I'm Not the Same 3:27
02 No One's Calling Your Name 3:56
03 My Wandering Heart 3:57
04 I´m a Dreamer 3:59
05 Amuse a Muse 1:57
06 Blue Roses 3:55
07 Pretty Please 3:15
08 Magenta 5:38
09 This is Where the Dreams Head, Maude 4:52
10 Cabin In The Sky 2:41
♠♠ Dreamers have dreamt for as long as domes have fallen, bobbing musical swells from Stephen Foster to the Everlys. Now here comes that beautiful dreamer Josephine and, sugarpie, she's not the same. She has donned her magenta vestiments, dreaming back, with mossy verses that haunt like a name never called. It's not just Jo and her shadow, though, this time around-she's got a gaggle of Nashville cats on hand to coax spidery cathedrals from these campfire jams. Folks will want to call this her Harvest-with its harp and pedal steel, its double bass and cascading piano. And it's true, I'm a Dreamer beckons with a gentle hand, each note clear and crisp so that one feels each grain. Amid such delicate charms, however, lurk muses with rotting flesh, ugly ducklings and Djuna Barnes, wooden floors upon which no babies will be rocked. Wily is the heart that wanders filled with duende and desire, that rides the thigh like a parlor guitar when a strap just isn't handy. These are songs comfortably at home in salon or saloon, dreams deep enough to bury your dread — as sorrowful, as sexy, as stirring a set of songs as anybody's dreamt up in ages. (http://music.is-mazing.com/)
By ANNE MALEWSKI; 25 SEPTEMBER 2013
♠♠ By now, the folk singer from Colorado has an impressive collection of albums in various styles. On 11 November, Fire Records releases Josephine Foster’s new album I’m a Dreamer.
♠♠ As you’re putting it on, time stops, re-winds, and goes on swinging in the early 20th century. Like a vinyl record coming through an antique radio on a field of wild grass and mad trees in between the criss-crossing motorways in the south of a capital city. Spinning as the sky darkens, gently comforting like the veteran dancers at the Northern Soul nights at The Shooting Star in London.
♠♠ Or, as her record label puts it: “Folks will want to call this her Harvest, with its harp and pedal steel, its double bass and cascading piano.”
♠♠ “No One’s Calling My Name” looks to the west and listens to the wind, “Pretty Please” walks through a park, “just my shadow and myself”, while “This Is where the Dreams Head, Maude” follows sad sweetness into a downpour of keys.
♠♠ However, Josephine Foster, as elegantly as her voice sails across the notes, is also capable of sharp, witty puns and macabre humour. “Amuse a Muse” for example warns that muses rot away when neglected and, with an air of Nico & The Velvet Underground and Amanda Palmer, exclaims “make sacrifices on her altar, she’s someone’s beloved daughter, too” and “we’re liable to decay, our flesh will rot away, some day we’ll lie in coffins, all our beauty long forgotten”. Deadly.
♠♠ And then the final song promises that there is a cabin in the sky. What more do you need. A record to loosen your grip on the unattainable, an album to lose your head with instead. (http://www.folkradio.co.uk/)
Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger
♠♠ As a teen, Colorado-born singer/songwriter/guitarist Josephine Foster honed her vocal skills at weddings and funerals. Her initial career aspirations leaned toward opera, but as she neared her twenties it was the music of Tin Pan Alley and early British folk that became her muse, resulting in a series of demos that would eventually morph into 2000's ukulele-heavy There Are Eyes Above and 2001's collection of children's songs entitled Little Life. She eventually relocated to Chicago, where she spent her days as a singing teacher and her evenings performing with her various bands, including Born Heller (a sparse and spooky duo featuring free jazz bassist Jason Ajemian) and the Children's Hour (a whimsical indie pop band with fellow Windy City songwriter Andrew Bar).
♠♠ All the Leaves Are GoneFoster returned to her solo career for 2004's All the Leaves Are Gone, a ghostly and occasionally jarring collection of folk-infused psychedelic rock tunes with her newly formed backing band, the Supposed. It was followed in 2005 by the quiet, rustic, and bluesy Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, an acid-washed rendering of 19th century-style art songs culled from the works of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms, was released in 2006, followed by This Coming Gladness in 2008 and Graphic as a Star in 2009.
♠♠ Perlas In 2010, Foster released Anda Jaleo, her first collaboration with singer/husband Victor Herrera. It was a new version of Las Canciones Populares, a collection of folk songs first recorded by Federico García Lorca and La Argentinita in 1931. The pair followed it up with Perlas in 2012, an analog, live-in-the-studio collection of forgotten songs and poems drawn from Spanish folk traditions of Castile and the Basque, among other things. Four months later, Foster released Blood Rushing, recorded in Colorado with her husband, the Entrance Band's Paz Lenchantin, Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), and Ben Trimble (Fly Golden Eagle). (http://www.allmusic.com/)
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>>> On finding inspiration in opera
♠♠ "I guess when I first heard an opera singer, I was in a small room, and she was singing a Verdi aria. It was just so ... you know when your hair just kind of flies back and you feel the vibrations? How is that possible that this woman has such a force? It seems supernatural. I loved that experience. I wanted to have a vibrating voice. I didn't want one of these sort of pansy voices from the pop singers that just sound like a thin little noodle, trying to be a girly-girl. I wasn't into that."
>>> On her past life singing in funeral homes
♠♠ "I remember being backstage in the funeral parlor with the body, and then back with the priest or the reverend in the secret chambers, musty and dark. ... I guess a rock club is just about like a funeral parlor to me, one step away — dark and dreary and smells bad, not too many windows, or the shades are drawn."
>>> On how she knows when a song works
♠♠ "I look for something that, immediately, I want to listen to again. The rhymes, I want them to be so delectable that I want to repeat them again and again and I can't forget them. It's because my memory is not so strong, so I have to carefully build a song for my own memory. ... My ideal is that all of the things that I love are in my head and I don't have to depend on anything — that they'll all just be safely there. And if they don't fit in there, maybe they're too long or something's just not right."
♠♠ 2000: There Are Eyes Above
♠♠ 2001: Little Life
♠♠ 2003: SOS JFK (with The Children's Hour)
♠♠ 2004: All the Leaves Are Gone (Josephine Foster and the Supposed)
♠♠ 2004: Born Heller (with Jason Ajemian)
♠♠ 2005: Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You
♠♠ 2006: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
♠♠ 2008: This Coming Gladness
♠♠ 2009: Graphic as a Star
♠♠ 2010: Anda Jaleo (with The Victor Herrero Band)
♠♠ 2012: Perlas (with The Victor Herrero Band)
♠♠ 2012: Blood Rushing
♠♠ 2013: I’m a Dreamer
|Josephine Foster — I’m a Dreamer (2013)|