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Radney Foster - This World We Live In
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Contributing Journalist

Radney Foster has produced other musicians, written hit songs for others and made some great CD's himself. His songs are artistic yet so guttingly real, they ride you. Foster produced this Texas masterpiece with Darrell Brown; edgy but warm, probably his best recording to date. Joined by great guitarists Mike "the slide man" McAdam, Adam Schoenfeld and Waddy Wachtel, Radney plays his big old acoustic Gibsons. Foster is intense, real, knows how to connect, comfort and make you dream again. His acoustic pickin' is great, his vocals are completely caught in whatever song he is singing.

Starting out with a pop/country duo Foster and Lloyd in the late eighties and then going solo in 1992 with his first solo album. Foster is no stranger to the struggles of life, but he uses these experiences to make great music that can really move you and just plain move. Foster is all about great guitars and incredible lyrics, in a nutshell, ten great tracks, let's visit a few.

"Half Of My Mistakes" - some great lyrics in this warm mid-tempo beauty with great guitar and female backup vocals. McAdam tears it up on the slide guitar as only he can do; "spend less time on right and wrong and a lot more time on love", " Half of my mistakes, God, I wouldn't change a thing". Brilliant song.

I saw Radney a few years ago in a small coffeehouse venue here in Philly. He had a three piece band backing him up while he sang with his Gibson J-45. He took one hundred people there on a two hour cruise we'll never forget. I was sitting about ten feet from him. He is very unpretentious and is quick with a warm hello.

"Prove Me Right" - a country rocker that is reminiscent of early Radney. Nice fiddle, great pickin', the drums flat out rock. Intense lead guitar break. Lots of great hooks, chorus and bridge.

"The Kindness Of Strangers" - This song is probably the best work Foster has ever done, honestly the first two times that I heard it, I cried my eyes out. What a story, what reality, what beauty, the ethereal vocals of Emily West. It is a slow, original, acoustic, tearjerker with beautiful string arrangements. Basically, a guy goes to a hooker and before anything happens, he starts crying and the lady holds him in her arms while he pours out his stories of broken homes and hearts to her. "You never got what you paid me for, I don't need to keep the money, He said yeah ya do/She said I don't pray much , but honey I'll pray for you". The ending is so sad, it fades out to a single drum beat. Radney connects so well with the realities of life. 

"Never Gonna Fly" - This is an upbeat song full of great guitar, drums and McAdam doing his special slide thing. He leaves the album on a note of hope. "Ya better dream big, if you wanna touch the sky, can't be scared to risk it all, never gonna fly, if your afraid to fall." 

Foster relates life to music and serves it back to you. Brilliance is in his lyrics. Radney is at the top of his game, a cross between Alan Jackson and Bob Dylan if such a thing is possible. Am I biased, maybe, but I didn't like his last disc, him, I'll always like.  

Related Links:
www.RadneyFoster.com - Official Site

Street Date: April 4, 2006 (Order Your Copy Now)

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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