JEFFREY FOUCAULT – ” Stripping Cane “

Posted: August 24, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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A first album happens the same way that Great Britain acquired an empire, in a fit of absence of mind. You write a song – a sheepish exercise at best, because only songwriters write songs, and you can’t be a songwriter until you’ve written one – and then you write another, and a few more, and pretty soon you have a bunch of them. You play them for your friends at beer parties, but it’s hard to know what else to do with them besides make an album. If you weren’t going to record them, what the hell have you been up to? In the Midwest, where a bent toward art that isn’t immediately financially remunerative is often treated as a type of infirmity, if you aren’t a songwriter working toward an album, you may be just a self-absorbed person with an odd private habit. It’s a fine line.

The second album happens because you made the first one, some people liked it, and now you’re in the terrifying position of having to prove that it wasn’t an accident, which you’re pretty sure it was. So you hire a producer (in this case the fantastic David Goodrich) and book a week to record, lying through your teeth that you have a lot of great new songs, and then spend a couple of fevered weeks drinking multiple pots of coffee a day, desperately trying to fill out the forty-odd minutes of an album.

That’s how “Stripping Cane” went down. I was trying to understand form, taking various types of American music into the shop and putting them up on the lift – country, country blues, gospel, murder-ballad, twelve-bar – to understand how they worked. I’d been a student of songs, but I’d always paid more attention to the the spiritual charisma of the singer, or to the language. You will hear people say that form is content. You should be suspicious of those people.

I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was seventeen, and I was writing, recording, and eventually even touring before I’d acquired the hours I needed for anything like mastery of my instrument, or my voice. So I spent a lot of time after my first album came out (and ever since, really) holed up trying to become a better musician, and a more concise writer.

I still play about half the songs on Stripping Cane – songs like ‘Northbound 35,’ ‘Cross of Flowers,’ ‘4&20 Blues,’ – and they’ve mostly worn well. They’re songs about the polarities of the life I was living at the time: home and away, leaving and left, right and wrong, love and its absence, and I was between 24 and 27 when I wrote them.

This is how I make a living right now, so if you have the wherewithal and these songs have meant something in your life, you can square up for a show via Paypal, Venmo, or the U.S. Mail (assuming we still have it), as you see fit. I don’t have to fly anywhere, and you don’t have to hire a sitter, so whatever seems like a reasonable cover charge ought to be fine.

“Stripping Cane” Signature Sounds Recordings

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