This past Thursday night I spent another spellbound evening at Oklahoma City’s Blue Door. Time spent at the “best listening room in Oklahoma” has become commonplace over the years, but tonight it was extra special watching the great Radney Foster. As Eddie Heizleman stated at the conclusion of his memorable opening set, Foster is “Nashville’s secret weapon.” That’s as true a statement as I’ve heard in a good while. The Del Rio Texas native is one that flies somewhat under the radar, but that hasn’t always been the case. From the three albums he released with Bill Lloyd as Foster & Lloyd, to his solo career, you kind of forget how many great freaking songs Radney Foster has in his arsenal. They and more were all on display to the nearly sold out, yet still intimate setting of the Blue Door.
“Just Call Me Lonesome,” “Easier Said Than Done,” “I’m In,” “Nobody Wins” and “Texas In 1880”; all the hits were well represented. But along with those older songs, Foster has far more recent gems from his last two releases, Revival and Everything I Should Have Said as well as his current album, For You To See The Stars. The masterful songwriter and producer is also a skilled author, and saw him undertaking the new album with an additional project, an accompanying novel of the same title. Loosely based on events and circumstances of his Texas border town upbringing, Foster delighted us with periodic readings to highlight some of the new songs. Of these, the childhood recollection of sneaking in nightly AM radio via “The Night Demon,” and the coming of age tale of “Sycamore Creek” were most memorable. Musically, it fell upon Foster to strike deeply at our heartstrings with the beautifully rendered “Angel Flight” and the newly re-recorded bilingual version of “Goodnight (Dulces Sueños), the video of which is currently on continuous loop at Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Center. Foster’s performance was another high water mark in a year of superb concerts I’ve attended. I highly recommend checking out his web page and tour dates here: https://www.radneyfoster.com/
Pulling double duty was guitar virtuoso Eddie Heinzelman. “Cousin Eddie” as he’s affectionately known, has played and collaborated with a virtual who’s who of artists, ranging from Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Jack Ingram and more. With a pair of his own albums under his belt, 2017’s “Hey Songwriter” and his current “Wherever You Go”, Heinzelman wowed us not only with his playing, but also his songwriting. Opening with the cleverness of “Ol’ Guy Clark,” Eddie went on to win us over with the beauty of “Dandelion” the longing for family on “The Road” and the poignancy of “Hey Songwriter.” Following a short break, Heinzelman joined Foster for mesmerizing guitar work (he used a Topo Chico bottle for an impromptu slide!) and stunning high harmonies. I’m already looking forward to seeing Eddie again soon, if only to watch his fingers fly across the fretboard. As I told him post show, his playing has the ability to make the most mediocre guitar hobbyist feel even more mediocre. Definitely visit Eddie Heinzleman’s page for more information: https://www.eddieheinzelman.com