Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pssst: One for the listening room

Good morning, are you ready for the first-ever PSSST (Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout)? OK, then. Here we go ...

The really good writers, whether they're penning songs, sonnets or pulp novels, can paint a vivid scene that places you there beside them. Musicians have the advantage of being able to create a beat and sound to match the mood. Some start with the lyrics and add the melody, others get the beat down first and the words follow. It doesn't matter. When it works, it works.

And it usually works for Jeffrey Foucault. Even though he's a homeboy from Wisconsin, I hadn't discovered his music until Signature Sounds released his "Ghost Repeater'' album in 2006. It became one my favorite discs of that year, and one that still gets steady play on my IPod. It features songs with rich layers and tumbleweed textures boosted by Bo Ramsey's biting electric guitar and the pedal steel work of alt-country king Eric Heywood (Son Volt, Ray Lamontagne, and currently touring with Chrissy Hynde and the Pretenders).

There's a favorite song on "Ghost Repeater'' which immediately takes you to a very lonely place:
All alone in a Mexican joint
In Mesa, Arizona
With a mariachi band
On the jukebox
And an empty Corona

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to walk into that cantina and buy the man a beer to try cheer him up. Of course he needs to be alone. The poor sap is thinking about some girl and he's trying to sort out his feelings, which immediately become obvious:

And the sun gone down
In the pale thin pink
There’s no one to talk to
All I can think
Is your eyes are full of train smoke
And your mouth tastes like rain
And I know when I know nothing
I will always know your name

She's the one, he sings, the only one. We have no doubt that she is, and we find ourselves wishing him good luck with that.

I couldn't find an audio clip for the song "Mesa, Arizona'' but you can get a taste of Foucault's music here:

He has a new Signature Sounds release out Feb. 17, after which he'll be hitting the road again. For tour dates go to

1 comment:

  1. Love the lyrics to that tune and would really like to hear the audio.
    Wisconsin dude too-there are some talented ones out there.