Friday 8 September 2017, 7.30pm
“She effortlessly dissolves barriers between herself and her fellow musicians, between music and listener, between language and expression.” – The WIRE
Josephine Foster makes a welcome return to OTO with her masterful self-honed songbook - some singalongs, some deep atmospheric tales that leave the listener yearning to know more. Josephine Foster is not only a captivating songwriter and performer, but also is daring, versatile and irreverent in her approach to subject and form.
On the eve of his trio's appearance at Bermondsey Folk Festival, Alasdair Roberts will be joining Josephine for a number of duets as part of her set in the first night of her residency.
"It's a pretty much perfect set, a quiet masterclass in songwriting with melodies that find the sweet spot in unexpected places and a self-possessed beauty that only grows with every listen." – Time Out, review of I'm A Dreamer
Josephine Foster is a modern American folk singer-songwriter and musician from Colorado. As an adolescent she worked as a funeral and wedding singer, and aspired to become an opera singer.
Her most recent album “No More Lamps In the Morning”, released last year, is a new folk route for Josephine, a stripped down starsailor vector connecting heller to highwater. Performing on nylon string guitar she weaves intimate readings of songs spanning her songwriting career including selections from recent albums “This Coming Gladness” (2008) and “I’m a Dreamer” (2013) and back to Born Heller (2004).
Foster’s new route is a free, chromatic music, a tuneful montana of mind–an expansive harmonic space dominated by Rif mountain on the horizon. As highwater as the music is, as broad the stylistic palette of the musicians, the music really exists in service of the lyrics. Two of the songs on No More Lamps are poems by Rudyard Kipling and James Joyce given musical settings by Foster. The rest arguably are musical settings of her own poems strengthened in a fiery crucible of guitars in which dissonant notes bend and quaver as wirefork embers, dying without affecting the glowing tonal fire which unites contrary forces in a Moroccan speakeasy.
She has performed for an audience of burros, concerts of Federico Garcia Lorca poems set to music. A music of wandering and a music of roots. An impermanent tradition passed down for generations. Let your loved ones know.
Alasdair Roberts is a musician (primarily a guitarist and singer) who is based in Glasgow. He has worked with Drag City Records since 1997, firstly releasing three albums of self-written material under the name Appendix Out and then several albums under his own name, the most recent being Alasdair Roberts (2015). A new album Pangs, recorded with Alex Neilson (drums) and Stevie Jones (bass) among other musicians, will be released in February 2017. Alasdair has also released music on labels such as Secretly Canadian, Galaxia and Stone Tape Recordings.
His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils, Alasdair Roberts and the forthcoming Pangs) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition).
Alasdair has collaborated widely with many different musicians throughout his musical career, including the Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, with whom he made the 2012 album Urstan and Sheffield-based musician James Green, with whom he made the 2016 album Plaint of Lapwing (Clay Pipe Music). He has also worked with artists from other disciplines such as film makers, poets, painters and puppeteers