The Foghorn Stringband 'Devil in the Seat' - Self Release

From the get-go this is an album full of both devilment and musical dexterity. The quartet play string band music as distinct from bluegrass and they do so with purpose. They draw from a myriad of sources and come together from different backgrounds to play these largely traditional sourced songs, though they name the version that inspired them in the credits. There are 16 songs featured which have titles that suggest their lyrical inspiration like Stillhouse, Mining Camp Blues, Jailbreak and such standards as Columbus Stockade Blues, Henry Lee, John Hardy and Pretty Polly.

This seasoned quartet (Caleb Klauder, Stephen Lind, Reeb Willms and Nadine Landry) all put their collective hearts into the delivery of these songs. All take their turn at the microphone and blend their voices in something of an uplifting salutation. There is sadness, murder, misery and mayhem at the heart of many of these songs but all are honest, rough and ready and uplifting. They speak of the human spirit and come from the crossroads of American music. These songs came from many countries, many climates and many a campfire. These are songs to be played at the end of a hard day to raise the spirit, to show that there are those who may have had it worse and you can find sympathy with a fellow sufferer, even if that person was born many moons ago.

The Foghorns are acknowledged masters of their instruments, mighty vocalists and true explores of the past, as well as futurists by bringing these songs to a contemporary audience. The devil may be in the seat but that’s because he wants you to get up and dance.

The Foghorn Stringband 'Outshine The Sun' - Self-Release

The Foghorn Stringband are a versatile and enthusiastic quartet who play stringband music with  skill and love for the music that has inspired them through the years.  Now a quartet, they have expanded their range with all the members adding vocals to the 21 songs that have been sourced fromicons as the Carter Family, Hazel Dickens, Charlie Poole and the Stanley Brothers.

In this way they breathe life into songs that are rooted in a different time yet which are, in many cases, as relevant to  today’s audience as they were when first played. Many of  the songs and tunes have an immediate uplifting effect. There are elements of cajun and old school country music mixed into the bluegrass and stringband foundations of the band.

You understand why such  bands were at the centre of social gatherings in the past as you  listen and tap your feet to the music; it would be hard not to be drawn in. But the song choices shouldn't take away from the prowess shown in both the vocal and instrumental departments as this quartet know how to deliver a song to best effect.

This is the sort of  album that may convince those who wouldn't normally be seen listening to what they perceive as a music lost in a fog of time. Listen out and you will hear the foghorn blowing, warning you that these four are coming through and you better be prepared to take notice. It comes in a neat self contained cardboard sleeve too.