Jeffrey Foucault brings "Blood Brothers" to The Palms on Saturday, Jan. 5

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In two decades on the road, Jeffrey Foucault has become a distinctive voice in American music. He’s refined a decidedly Midwestern amalgam of blues, country, rock and folk that’s instantly recognizable for its simplicity and emotional power. He’s built a brick-and-mortar international touring career on multiple studio albums, countless miles and general critical acclaim. The New Yorker lauds his “stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest,” and The Irish Times described him as “quietly brilliant.” Foucault has caught the ear of everyone from Van Dyke Parks to music critic Greil Marcus to Don Henley, who regularly covers Foucault in his live set. Foucault released “Blood Brothers,” his fourteenth album and his sixth collection of original songs, in June and will play a rare solo show at The Palms Playhouse on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 ($18 students). Foucault was 17 when he learned to play all the songs on John Prine’s eponymous debut on his father’s mail-order guitar, spending long evenings in his bedroom spinning piles of old records on a hand-me-down turntable, lifting the needle to transcribe every line of “Desolation Row.” At 19 he swiped a copy of “Townes Van Zandt: Live and Obscure” from a friend, and a few years later, having quit school to work as a farm-hand and carpenter, Foucault began writing the songs that became his first album (2001’s “Miles From the Lightning”). Since then he’s been everything from solo country-blues troubadour to frontman for a six-piece rock ‘n’ roll band, along the way compiling a discography notable for its visceral power and complex poetics. “Blood Brothers,” the much-anticipated follow-up to Foucault’s critically-acclaimed 2015 album “Salt As Wolves (“Immaculately tailored… Close to perfection” – New York Times; “Pure Songwriter, simple and powerful” – Morning Edition, NPR) is a collection of reveries, interlacing memory with the present tense to examine the indelible connections of love across time and distance. Foucault deftly cuts the template for the album as a whole, showing a mastery of technique as he unwinds a deeply patient collection of songs at the borderlands of memory and desire.  In contrast to the austere electricity of his last outing, “Blood Brothers” sets blues aside to pull together strands of country, R&B, gospel, rock and folk in a series of delicate small-canvas portraits. There’s a touch more light coming through the window, a certain gentleness in play, with layers of backing vocals sung by women – including Foucault’s wife Kris Delmhorst, as well as the various partners of the band – adding hue and shade. As noise and politics, fashion and illusion obtrude on all fronts, BLOOD BROTHERS takes a deep breath and a step inward, with tenderness and human concern, paying constant attention to the places where the mundane and the holy merge. In language pared to element, backed by a world-class band, Foucault considers the nature of love and time in ten songs free of ornament, enlarging his deep, resonant catalogue of songs about about love, memory, God, desire, wilderness and loss. Tickets are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite, and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit and]]>

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