Jeffrey Foucault – Blood Brothers

Album Review | Blueblade Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

It’s almost twenty years since the release of Jeffrey Foucault’s debut album Miles From the Lightning back in 2001 and there’s a sense that a long and winding road has been subsequently travelled.  Blood Brothers is Foucault’s first album since Salt As Wolves (2015) and features ten new original songs, including a couple of co-writes with drummer Billy Conway.  Foucault’s broad smile on the cover, a clever pastiche on all those classic Blue Note LP sleeves from the 60s, seems to be reflected in some of the songs; it’s hard to imagine the opening line of “I Know You” being performed without a smile.

There’s an almost American Gothic feel to the domesticity embedded in the opening song “Dishes”, which is effectively comforting, before all war breaks out and a return to the bleak undercurrent of our troubled times in the punchy “War on the Radio”.  If Foucault is perfectly fine delivering songs on his own, such as “Pretty Hands”, albeit with some fine guitar courtesy of Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids), it has to be said that there’s something quite special about his chosen guest vocalists, such as Kris Delmhorst, a noted singer songwriter in her own right, who accompanies her husband in all the right places, specifically on “Dishes” and “Rio Cello Brown”, whilst Pieta Brown can be heard on the tender title song “Blood Brothers” and Tift Merritt on the sublime “Blown”, possibly the album’s Gram and Emmylou moment.  Kate Lorenz, Bo Ramsey and Laurie Sargent provide further vocal contributions.

Choice Track: Blown (NSV 499)