Foscoe Jones
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Foscoe Jones

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


May 19, 2004 Texas Rising Star
Foscoe Jones ­ Singing in the Sunlight

Foscoe Jones is truly a man so full of life that his music can't help but shine.
I first experienced Foscoe's raw power at The Old Wimberley Tavern months ago. He stepped on stage with Groovin Ground to sing just one song. The
vibe was already deeply set in feel good grooves when, somehow, Foscoe's
voice, and words raised the stakes even higher. He brought the already peaked enthusiasm up a notch, to a whole new dimension. I don't know how to
describe it, except to say that life smelled sweet again as he sang his rhythmic poetry. I was left curious as to who this Foscoe Jones character really is.
A few weeks later, Jim Hale (editor in chief) gave me the chance to find out. I was on assignment to check out Foscoe's Monday night gig at Tavern on the Gruene, in New Braunsfels. As I headed down 32, a.k.a. the Devil's Backbone, I wondered if that great vibe Foscoe set when I saw him last was just a fluke? Perhaps it was just a great night for him. What person can sustain such an uplifting vibe now days. Especially someone facing the
harsh industry of music?
It was sunset. The sky was beautiful and I missed my turn on the elusive Purgatory Road. The drive turned into a cruise as I listened to Foscoe Jones and the Distractions' new cd. My spirits began to be lifted. In turning around, I pulled into a rest stop, with "A Song Like This" blaring on my stereo. The simplicity of the lyrics, the happiness of the tune had an
inspiring effect on me. It created this wonderful moment, with me standing on a picnic table, staring across a beautiful stretch of Hill Country. I felt that liberating combination of high energy and peace of mind. I found myself standing strong with my heart open, and bittersweet tears running
down my cheeks. The simple song became more complicated as he sang of the longing for a lost love, and I was moved. Foscoe's music is definitely
powerful, I thought to myself as I realized my mood had more than been uplifted this time. Now it had touched my soul.

Originally from North Carolina, Foscoe was fortunate to be born into a musical family. He first picked up a guitar when he was around 12 or 13. As a teenager, his favorite band was the Dead Milk Men. True enough, he first
discovered his destiny in a mosh pit. In the middle of the frenzy, he turned to his friend and declared he wanted to be a musician. It was the Kerrville folk festival that originally brought him here to Texas. Chuck Brodsky, a North Carolinian song writer and Guru to young
Foscoe, spoke on NPR of a songwriter's heaven in Kerrville, Texas. When Foscoe was of age, he began to attend the festival annually while touring the country with his music. But Texas kept calling him back. And soon Mr. Jones settled down in Austin.

More recent years have found him playing regularly all over the Hill Country. As a finalist in the New Folk Competition at the Kerrville, "A Song Like This", the title track of his new album, was the inspiration for the 2003 New Folk Documentary film "A Song Like This : New Folk Competition" from Sea Lions Estates and Peter Yarrow.
Foscoe considers himself first and foremost a songwriter. His whole life, words have been coming to him with the rhythms already attached. He gets a
small idea from some moment in life, usually with an element of hope in it. Truthfully, Foscoe admits he doesn't consider himself much of a guitarist.
His focus has not been on soloing, he leaves that up to his lead guitarist. He conduct the rhythm and the rhymes. "Its all about the song," Foscoe
explains. "I try to write lyrics that are meaningful, up front, and to the point. The Distractions play according to what the song needs in order for it to fit the mood. I want to create a feeling that captures the moment, and the moment is filled with darkness, desperation, truth, laughter, love, faith and hope."
It was a full band gig that night at the Tavern, and it was all about the moment. Foscoe conducted the band and the mood of Tavern on the Gruene intoa sunny place, free of tension. Full of humor and comraderie. He really
knows how to hit those tones of pure joy. His live show is powerfully refreshing.
Colin Brooks was rockin' on steel and electric guitars. His solos were attimes bluesy and emotional, always hard core. Leslie McCurdy, bassist and
drummer John Arredondo are spot on and tight. The styles of the songs in theset varied greatly, and there were many great covers thrown in as tributes to other songwriters like one LowdenWainright.
Foscoe's live show drove home the point that not only is his music,feel good, it also touches the most lonely heart with sincerity and honesty. He
is truly a unique musician with nothing to hide. And lots to give. His music has been described by fellow Rising Star Writer Bob Gray as a funky strain of eclectic Americana. I think that's a great description, and his uniqueness is hard to describe. He really doe - Texas Rising Star Magazine


Saturday night I had the pleasure of catching a set by Foscoe Jones at the Ol’ Watering Hole in Kerrville. First off, let me say that the Watering Hole arguably has the best jukebox in town. Everything from early Stones to Johnny Cash and all points in between. Jones’ brand of funky Americana relied heavily on large amounts of improv and spontaneity. A big dose of fun. The story he told before launching into a tune called “Nothin’ Stays the Same” was hilarious. Seems a year ago to the day, Foscoe and his band, the Distractions, had played a gig at the Hole. After the show, they were loading up their equipment when they were introduced to the local police, who had been summoned to investigate a disturbance in front of the club. For reasons that are unclear, the entire band was cuffed and booked into the Kerrville jail. They spent the night there and finally were released at noon the next day. Foscoe hired a lawyer and all charges were dropped soon thereafter, but the episode cost him $800 in legal fees. This year when Kerrville came up on the bands itinerary, all of the Distractions except for trumpet and accordion player Oliver Steck thought it the better part of valor to be somewhere else and took the night off.

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the story but Foscoe is a fine rhythm guitarist, and he and Steck played expertly off one another, making the absence of other musicians an afterthought. The show went on and the crowd loved them.

Speaking with Foscoe the following day, our conversation quickly turned to the art of songwriting. Foscoe has been honing his craft since 1987 and it shows. In 2003 Foscoe was chosen as a finalist in the Kerville Folk Festival’s New Folk Competition and in 1998, one of his tunes, “My Problem,” was included in the soundtrack for a Bill Pullman film called “The Guilty.” Foscoe’s new album is named “A Song Like This” and is an eclectic pleasure you shouldn’t miss. He counts the Beatles, early Elvis, Otis Redding, hip-hop and jazz as influences, which helps explain the difficulty in trying to categorize his work. “I won’t compromise my integrity to be in someone’s karaoke band,” he said. “What’s important to me is the process of creating a whole new thing and that causes me trouble getting radio play because I don’t fit anyone’s mold.” Album highlights are the title track (Steve Forbert meets early Eagles), “King Of A Small Town” (in a Tom Waits vein) and “A Moment.” (Cake trumpet over Ry Cooder-like slide work.) Check it out at www.foscoejones.net. - Kerrville Press


Fun as Folk with Foscoe
A North Carolinian who now calls the Hill Country home, Foscoe fuses his bluegrass roots with the country-folk minimalism of the Texas singer-songwriter style. The result is a funky strain of eclectic Americana that has made Jones as popular on college campuses as he is at folk festivals. And that's saying something, as his witty, personal compositions were recognized at this spring's 2003 New Folk competition in Kerrville. Jones and his band the Distractions, play at the Cactus Cafe at 8:30p.m. - Austin American Statesman


To listen to Foscoe's music was surely a great discovery, his "A Song Like This..." is in fact a strong candidate to become one of the most interesting debuts from an American songwriter this year. Foscoe in fact writes very fine songs and he sings them with an intense and suggestive voice that sometimes reminds some masters of the art, first of all Mr. Zimmerman and even more Mr. Steve Forbert. However he has surely his own style, and the Distractions gave an important contribute to make "A Song Like This..." successful as there some great musicians in that band, I mean such people like Jeff Plankenhorn, Richard Bowden and Susan Gibson, just to name the most famous of the team. I have enclosed some recent playlists from my radio show of American roots based music, they are all featuring Foscoe's album. - Massimo Ferro


Discography

A Song Like This- Invisible Records 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Foscoe was born in North Carolina and moved to Austin in 1999. He grew up with folk and blugrass and has branched out into a blend of musical genres. His sound refuses to be pigeon holed into a specific groove. He's had a song featured in the major motion picture The Guilty starring Bill Pullman and was the subject of a documentary by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. The documentary, A Song Like This, titled after the title track of Foscoe's 2004 release was filmed at the Kerrville New Folk Awards where Foscoe joined the ranks of Lyle Lovett, Steve Earl and Slaid Cleaves as past nominees. Solo around a campfire or full rocking band in a crowded venue, Foscoe entertains with catchy tunes, thoughtful lyrics, and a mischievious sense of humor.