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Mr. Foster sure sounds like the real thing to these ears. Here’s one (“Good Man Bad Thing”) I’ll be playing for the rest of the year.

Mike Marrone | SiriusXM | The Loft

blues in the south

American label Vizztone is rapidly becoming the place to go to for exciting contemporary blues; D. A . Foster is a new name to me, but I do recall that back in the 70s, American blues magazines and books often featured photographs of the leading blues performers taken at the Shaboo Inn – and a bit of internet digging revealed that Mr. Foster was one of the owners of the Shaboo Inn in Connecticut between 1971 and 1982, frequently jamming with many of the music's true greats and eventually leading a band that included the guitarist Matt Murphy (who has played with everyone from Howling Wolf to The Blues Brothers). This experience has left its mark on this set too – unusually D.A. is a stand-up vocalist in the vein of Bobby Bland. D.A. even turns in a very creditable cover of Bland's 'Ain't Doing Too Bad' to emphasise the point, and he also tackles Z.Z. Hill's biggest hit, 'Down Home Blues' – maybe Curtis Salgado could also get away with it as well as D.A. does, but there aren't too many others.

Elsewhere there are hints of Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, and Lou Rawls – yes, D.A. is good! Eddie Hinton's 'Super Lover' provides another good reference point, with a bit of humour thrown in too. This set is based in strong blues and R&B, with occasional soul touches, and with some truly world-class musicians in support, this is an early contender for my CD of the Year.

Norman Darwen

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