Jonathan Foster — Lantern Shade
The name Jonathan Foster is a name not readily recognizable in Americana circles but, it should be. His latest release Lantern Shade invokes the vision of the proverbial itinerant troubadour singing songs about life as they see it.
The ten track 42 minute and 59 second album is not short on music and eight of the songs were written by Foster. The two exceptions would be “Where We Belong” which was co-written by Morgan Hannaford and the traditional “Shady Grove” in which he does a wonderful cover. This is Foster’s fifth album release and was produced by Foster and Bruce Turgon at After Hours Recorders and is self-promoted. Musicians include Foster on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, woodwinds and percussion, and feature Bruce Turgon on bass, 12 string guitar, organ, piano, and mandolin, Joe Misztal on drums and percussion and special guest Morgan Hannaford on mandolin.
If there is a drawback to the album, it is that it has a basic cover with brief liner notes on the back and no booklet with song lyrics. However, the recording is strong enough that you can very clearly hear the words to each of the songs and it is Foster that stands out in all of the material. The cover art is interesting and the back photo is entertaining.
Foster is original in his songwriting and his ability to tell stories through his music. If you mixed John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, and Blaze Foley all together you would get Foster. Track listings are:
“May Our Paths Cross Again”
“Into The Black”
“When It Gets Dark”
“Where We Belong”
Stand out tracks include “Stardust Saltwater, Alpine Line”, “Into the Black”, “When It Gets Dark”, “Ani Bird”, and “Where We Belong.”
The album is at the same time entertaining and thought provoking, drawing off of Foster’s experiences and the featured supporting cast members add just enough touch to the result to keep each song fresh.
The bottom line is that, when listening to Lantern Shade, you feel like you are sitting around a campfire with a man and his guitar who is telling you musical stories and talking to your soul.
Lantern Shade can be found at: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Bandcamp https://jonathanfoster.bandcamp.com/ and Foster’s website https://www.jfmusic.net/