Jim Foster pilots his own craft on A Sailor's Advice
A Sailor’s Advice (Quest)
The hook on this more-than-amiable CD is in its subtitle, iPhone Demos Vol. 1. The album’s seven folk- and blues-based originals were recorded live, in glorious monophonic sound, with just Foster’s voice and his acoustic six- or 12-string guitars straight into a surprisingly sensitive audio program. He then added some reverb and stereo imaging to slightly spooky effect. You can even hear him drinking a beer between cuts.
Beyond all that, the songs stand up as, you know, songs, with Foster’s gruff, somewhat limited voice carrying the earthy authority of a Mark Knopfler or a Jesse Winchester. There is a nautical bent to things, with the emphasis on roving in general. (Sample tip from the title tune: “Don’t order sushi in Denver”.)
Foster, whose last outing, two years ago, was a full-band rock record, has been best known over the decades for writing songs for or with such Canadiana types as Patricia Conroy, Murray McLauchlan, and Doug and the Slugs. A Sailor’s Advice finds him piloting his own craft in a relaxed and very convincing manner.