Time is precious. Things to do. People to see. So straight to the point. ‘Blood Brothers’ by Jeffrey Foucault is a bloody marvellous album. There are many albums that are slow growers, gradually getting under the skin, each play revealing another layer, another subtle nuance. Let’s be clear, this isn’t one of those albums. This is one of the other kinds of albums, those that grab your attention from the off and, as the final track heads off into the sunset, leaves in its wake a sense that you have been witness to a wonderful thing.
First things first, Foucault has a great voice. The opening track ‘Dishes’, a gentle, bluesy, soulful number gives us hints of Lyle Lovett. Secondly, he has surrounded himself with talent. Eric Heywood (Pretenders) on pedal steel, Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams) electric guitars, Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) bass and Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums are a tight unit that, with the exception of Heywood, have been with Foucault for a decade or more.
But the overall warmth and depth of what is on offer here, particularly on the slower, more laid-back songs where the soul/gospel vibe is especially pronounced, is also down to the female backing vocals of the various partners of the band members. That this number includes the not insignificant talent of Foucault’s wife, Kris Delmhorst and, for the gorgeous duet that is ‘Blown’, the wonderful Tift Merritt, then perhaps we start to understand just why this album sounds so damned good.
Selecting standout tracks on albums can often condemn other songs by their omission but, on an album full of quality, there are no duff tracks here. So, with that caveat in place, I offer up the bass groove that drives ‘Here Comes Rainer’, the lovely, reflective ‘Little Warble’ with its subtle but telling steel accompaniment or the country rock ‘War On The Radio’ as it remarks on the complicity at the heart of modern American living.
Make no mistake this is an Americana album of the year contender. There is nothing not to love about this album. Buy it. Listen to it. Adore it.