Jeffery Foucault: Whittled, wide open words in Salt as Wolves

by HALEE HASTAD

Jeffery Foucault is something of a rambling man. It is possible he has seen every dive bar east to west, north to south, and could recall a memory of a memory from decades ago. He speaks with a southern drawl and is from the Midwest, has been on the road since 2001 and finds great value in being a kind person.

With his beard, cowboy hat, leather boots and denim jacket he recently put out what seems to be something of a zenith album: Salt as Wolves. There’s a ring to it, right? An image comes to mind of a dark night, snow covered Midwest terrain and a hunter. The hunter is warm in his jacket, salty sweat. The wolf is also hunting, running. Hot air establishes the presence of life as dew from their breath leaves their bodies in a clouded rhythm.

This may be a proper metaphor for Foucault’s fifth album of original songs, released mid-October. As if his musical career has made something of a metaphysical hunter out of him. Searching for deeper meaning both through and with his music.

Salt as Wolves establishes a textured and almost weathered tone as Foucault sings of death, love, sorrow, mercy and origins. There is a light rust covering songs like “Des Moins” and “Take Your Time.” They carry a feeling of the Midwest within them; slow and rolling hills are matched with smothering bass and a steady drum.

Foucault cut the album alongside long-time tour partner, Billy Conway on drums, Bo Ramsey with the electric guitar, singer Caitlin Canty and bassist Jeremy Moses Curtis in Canon Falls, Minnesota at Pachyderm Studio. The woman who owns the bar Foucault started playing in also came, but not as a musician. He asked her to come purely as support. And to make the food, of course.

“There is something special about returning to the Midwest and playing music,” Foucault said. “I believe that the landscape around you shapes your language… My home (Wisconsin) is a point of reference in anything I write.”

Salt as Wolves is bluesy, ballad-esque and bound to evoke those experiences in one’s life that leaves them feeling a deep sense of wisdom. It is 12 tracks of classic American country, rock n’ roll and folk.

Foucault will be playing at the Green Frog in Bellingham on Friday, Nov. 13. He is touring with his full band featuring Ramsey, Curtis, Conway and Canty.

“This record represents everything I have ever done,” Foucault said, and if that isn’t incentive to check it out, well, I don’t know what is.

Live Show: Catch Jeffery Foucault at the Green Frog on Nov. 13. For more information, see www.jeffreyfoucault.com. 

Published in the November 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine