Saturday 9 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 performance at Bermondsey Folk Festival, Alasdair Roberts joins Josephine Foster for a very special show at OTO.
For the second night of her residency, Josephine is joined by free-drummer and Trembling Bells founder, Alex Neilson for a rare duo performance.
"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.
“Already a legendary free-drummer Alex Neilson has played with most of the musical underground’s heavyweights of this era. This one man folk renaissance movement has left a trail of recordings and thrilling live shows with Jandek, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Heather Leigh, Alasdair Roberts, and Richard Youngs in his youthful wake.
Always moving from project to project, Neilson brings a sense of exploration and independence to his playing. As one of the most energetic and ‘in-tune’ free players around, Neilson has a better grasp than most on trying to get across the nature of improvisation.” - stylusmagazine