By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Parallel to the seasons shifting in the American West, musicians often experience seasonal shifts of their own.
For singer-songwriter Jonathon Foster, the songwriting and recording processes — as well as the performance aspect of being a traveling musician — each take on a different feel, just like the changing seasons of his childhood home in Cranberry Lake, N.Y.
The same could be said for North Idaho, where Foster will stop on Tuesday, Nov. 8 to play Eichardt’s Pub at 7 p.m., and likely witness the region’s first real taste of winter.
Sandpoint is one of 45 stops on Foster’s extensive fall tour — which is seasonal not only by name, but also within the shifting lifestyle of this particular musician.
“Touring is its own separate beast,” Foster told the Reader, “and I do enjoy it.”
The California-based folk artist got his start as more of a “rock ’n’ roll kid,” he said, but through influences like John Prine and Bob Dylan, landed on a softer, more old-fashioned sound in his solo career. That career has led to a decade of cross-country tours and five independently released, full-length albums — all presented with a palpable level of sincerity.
Foster isn’t reinventing the folk-music wheel, but adding layers of his own observations and lived experiences to the rich mythologies of blue-collar heroes and rural beauty.
Though his musical stylings might best be described as Americana or folk, Foster isn’t one to be pigeon-holed.
“I’m really an acoustic singer-songwriter in the American roots vein,” he said. “Some of [my] songs, to the listener, might sound more like mountain music, or more like bluegrass, or more like country, or more like alt-rock or indie rock or like a regular old folk singer when you see me live because it’s scaled down — it’s just me and my guitar and harmonicas, and lots and lots of lyrics and stories.”
Regardless of genre, when Foster plays live, “the songs are the star.”
“My hope is that any time you go out and see a live show that you feel it in your soul a little bit,” he said, “and especially if you connect with that artist or that style of music. That’s why I’ve been able to do this this long. There’s just enough people that can glom onto this style — a little more back-in-time, scaled-down acoustic music.”
The significance of this particular Tuesday-night show isn’t lost on Foster, either, who said he uses his music as a creative outlet while attempting to make sense of everything happening in the world.
“I’ll be there on Election Day,” he said, “so what better way to unplug for a minute [than to] listen to some folk songs?”
Learn more and listen to Jonathon Foster’s music at jfmusic.net.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal