New York Times Quote

I take the small roads when I can. I hit the small rooms with a couple old guitars and a 5-watt Skylark amp. Sometimes with a band, and then I stand up. Mostly it’s just me and my friend Billy Conway, the best drummer I ever heard. Then we both sit down and I stomp my foot. I own a Smith Corona typewriter and a Western Bell rotary phone, and I use both. I wore a pearl snap cowboy shirt in my Kindergarten school picture. Irony isn’t my thing. I write songs about love, memory, God, desire, wilderness and loss.

I grew up in Wisconsin. My Dad wore a tie to work and played a knock-off Gibson with a chunk of the headstock missing where he’d backed over it with the car. Mom sang along. I knew all my Grandparents well into my thirties, and both my Great Grandmas. Winter Sundays were for church or ice-fishing, and summers we hauled an old travel trailer up to the north woods. School was a drag, and I mostly drew pictures. When I was 11 I bought a cassette copy of Little Richard’s Greatest Hits. At 17 I learned to play all the songs on John Prine’s 1971 debut in my room with the door locked and subway posters of British New Wave bands looking morbidly on. At 19 I stole a copy of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Live & Obscure’. At 24 I made a record and start traveling around the country. I have two older brothers. They don’t sing but they both fish.

I live out in New England now in a little town with a river through the middle. I can’t get home without crossing good water and it fairly makes up for living east, which isn’t in my blood. We have a chicken coop and a little barn and an old car that runs. I like to listen to records real loud when I do the dishes, and I do most of the dishes.

THE NEW YORKER:

“Jeffrey Foucault, sings stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest.”

MOJO:

“Songwriting brilliance.”

THE IRISH TIMES:

“Quietly brilliant…”

UNCUT:

“The music of Wisconsin native Foucault is the kind so many aspire to but never attain: beat-up troubadour folk whittled to dolorous perfection…”

Lauded for ‘…stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest.’ (The New Yorker) and described as ‘Quietly Brilliant’ (The Irish Times), Jeffrey Foucault has released four collections of original songs under his own name, and two full-band collaborations with contemporary poet Lisa Olstein under the moniker Cold Satellite. His songs, ‘Beat-up troubadour folk, whittled to dolorous perfection’ (Uncut), mine the darker seams of American music to distill a terse amalgam of blues, country, rock ’n’ roll, and folk. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, the singer and songwriter Kris Delmhorst, and their 6 year old daughter.

Divider Line

In 2015 Jeffrey Foucault will release SALT AS WOLVES, his fifth collection of original songs. Featuring Foucault’s longtime rhythm section Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums and Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass, and reuniting him with legendary electric guitar player Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown), SALT AS WOLVES offers twelve tracks that exist out of time, like a field recording of a place that never existed: a lean, bold blues record that deftly weaves together disparate strands of sound and experience, raw love and desperate wisdom.

Divider Line


  • DISCOGRAPHY
  • Salt as Wolves (To be released in 2015)
  • Cold Satellite: Cavalcade (2013)
  • Horse Latitudes (2011)
  • Cold Satellite (2010)
  • Seven Curses (2010)
  • Redbird Live At The Café Carpe (2010)
  • Shoot The Moon Right Between The Eyes (2009)
  • Ghost Repeater (2006)
  • Stripping Cane (2004)
  • Redbird (with Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorst, 2003)
  • Miles From The Lightning (2001)

HUFFINGTON POST:

“There is an uncanny charm to this man that is as captivating as hearing Bruce Springsteen live… sounds of The Band and the night howls of Neil Young… but better than that is his fierce, undying and unwavering pull…We were treated to more than music”

MUSIC! SOUNDS OF SANTA BARBARA:

“Foucault has diligently crafted a discography as poetic and visceral as it is seductive and inflicting.”

SN&R (SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW):

“Jeffrey Foucault is cut from the same cloth as John Prine… Like Prine his voice leans toward the gravelly but stops short of Dylan-esque mumble-grumble and has just a twinge of country. Also like Prine, Foucault lyrically tends toward some surprising twists that illuminate the realities of contemporary life - songs like “Americans in Corduroys” from his Ghost Repeater album, which mixes a honeymoon with commentary on war. He’s smart and pays attention to melody and a strong hook in his songs… a sure bet for a good show.”

AMERICAN SONGWRITER:

“After releasing a handful of sparse, stark solo albums, singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault began widening his sound, piecing together his own brand of textured, midwestern Americana laced with pedal steel, accordion, organ, and electric guitar. He adds some serious muscle to that sound with Calvacade, his second album with the rock band Cold Satellite”

NO DEPRESSION:

“One of our most truly poetic songwriters… Foucault’s singing is almost nakedly human in that he invariably reaches for the most open honesty of his feeling… The inherent warmth of his throaty delivery tempers the occasional strangeness of his poetic lyric, and invites you into its possibilities…”

NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY:

“twangy rock… heavily infused with country and blues, in the same vein as Steve Earle or James McMurtry. But where McMurtry will wind a yarn, Foucault spins off one image after another; where Earle heads for the country, Foucault goes off into growling Neil Young territory.”

TIME OUT CHICAGO:

“Wisconsin’s Jeffrey Foucault is the type of singer-songwriter whose talents sneak up on you. On paper, his description could apply to countless similar acts. In practice, Foucault frequently proves himself better than the rest, recalling the romanticized Americana of Bruce Springsteen, gazing through rain-streaked railway-car windows.”

THE DAY, NEW LONDON CT:

“Foucault…writes simple but marvelously evocative songs, working traditions that range from Mississippi John Hurt to Chris Smither, to Townes Van Zandt. ‘Horse Latitudes’ and ‘Cold Satellite’, have placed him at a new level of accomplishment.”

KDHX ST. LOUIS:

“Part John Prine, part Dylan, part lonely cowboy swilling whiskey out on a moonlit prairie…”

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER:

“…Jeffrey Foucault is a man born into the wrong era. An age when iPods and Pandora stations queue up hundreds of songs to flick through rewards impatience… Foucault’s music doesn’t”.

ROUGHSTOCK:

“Like a great Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Robison, Guy Clark or Rodney Crowell album, Horse Latitudes is the kind of record that you listen to from start to finish and then sit there and marvel at how well the recording is put together… the songs are simply stunning in their breadth and lyrical scope”.

WASHINGTON POST:

“This is rock-and-roll in the key of country-noir: bleak visions of departed lovers, flickering TVs and empty landscapes underlined by pedal steel guitar and cello”.

Q MAGAZINE (UK):

“Foucault has grown as a songwriter in the American Songbook tradition, the understated menace of Springsteen’s Nebraska mixing with the country of Gene Clark. It all gels together on such tracks as Goners Most and the mysterious redemptive title track. After “just” seven albums, it looks like there’s a new kid in town”.

NO DEPRESSION:

“…pure beauty and one of the best Americana albums this year”.

WYEP RADIO PITTSBURGH:

“His voice, band, lyrics, and overall tone will shake you into submission”.

THE TELEGRAPH (UK):

“HAUNTING AND POIGNANT TRIUMPH FROM AMERICAN SINGER Jeffrey Foucault is an original, beguiling songwriter with a marvelously expressive voice. He brings these talents together, along with fine guitar playing, to create a terrific album… John Updike once wrote of a character who was like an open window through which the rain poured. Foucault’s album captures that poignancy”.

PASADENA WEEKLY:

“…unfolds like a sequence of underwater dreams drawn to the surface by literate, vividly image-textured lyrics and a team of top players”

BEACONPASS:

“Jeffrey Foucault pronounces his name “Folk-alt,” and makes saying difficult things seem as easy as this straightforward pronunciation of his French surname. Praised for its tendency to combine raw, weathered emotion with measured elegance, Foucault’s music feels unadulterated and innate, with veins of pedal steel, the big-skied openness of Neil Young and the bizarre, haunting imagery that you might find in a Flannery O’Connor story.”

NEW YORKER MAGAZINE:

“Foucault’s voice, and his themes, are gruff, sombre, and deep, and his accompanying musicians, including the Pretenders’ Eric Heywood, on pedal steel, create a sparse, dramatic soundscape.”

R2 MAGAZINE (UK):

“Foucault’s songs are poems, sonically framed to perfection… His voice elucidates meaning as it gracefully and delicately applies it’s unique instrumental tone to the exquisitely balanced whole.”

SANJOSE.COM:

“Jeffrey Foucault’s music has an ethereal, haunted quality to it that makes descriptors such as “roots soundscapes” and “old-weird-atmospheres” a bit more accurate than the typical “folk” or “Americana” tags… Foucault’s real strength lies in his ability to coax the feeling out of the darkest corners of a tune. His latest release, Horse Latitudes, is being touted as one of the best Americana releases of the year…”

EUGENE REGISTER GUARD:

“…he’s not as immediately sexy as, say… Ryan Bingham”

OREGON LIVE:

“…wears hats well and writes songs better. If you’re looking for a cold beer and warm songs, this is where you go.”

GOOD TIMES SANTA CRUZ:

“Poetic flair and {a} bold approach to songwriting… the timeless feel of artists like John Prine, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan”

WORCESTER TELEGRAM:

“… a stunning lyricist, as well as a captivating performer. There’s an undertow to his singing voice, a gravity the listener can’t help but sink into.”

FISH RECORDS (UK):

“Since his fantastic debut album, Jeffrey Foucault has walked a path that crosses folk, country and rock fusing all three elements together into a classic American sound…one of the very best”

DIRECT CURRENT:

“…finds that sweet spot between frayed and mournful Neil Young-styled electricity and the wide-open spaces of acoustic storytelling… (Horse Latitudes is) one of the best songs we’ve heard this year.”

GREIL MARCUS (THE BELIEVER MAGAZINE):

“...a country feel that puts the people who live in the Nashville charts to shame... a deep-ditch electric guitar takes a country song into the blues, and lets it go back where it came from. Nothing is pressed, to the point that sometimes the way the voice pulls away from a word or a guitar from a phrase is its own kind of preciousness—but not in “Twice I Left Her,” which shifts the music into a more resolute kind of quiet, a bigger emptiness in a single room. An acoustic guitar figure comes up against drums buried far away, like a memory. The story creeps out, and stops well short of its end, though you can glimpse it. Foucault drifts over the words so lightly that they seem to fade as they’re sung, and you might stop trying to hear them as words, let them come as sounds”

VINTAGE GUITAR:

“Beautiful and often chilling… a mighty powerful piece of work”

MAVERICK (UK):

“… At the dawn of the 21st century, Cold Satellite intuitively captures mankind’s journey through the seasons”

THE TELEGRAPH (UK):

“… A powerful mix of rock, folk, and country… A musician ably reaching for the sky”

THE NEW YORK POST:

“Reflective roots music… Ghost Repeater drips in pedal steel and quiet beauty.”

THE NEW YORKER:

“An album full of gravelly, gorgeously rolling poems about weather, trains, and love. Foucault pronounces his last name "Folk-alt," which sounds something like one of those inadequate names given to the acoustic-guitar-driven musical genre of which he is an exceptional practitioner.”

THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:

“One of the best albums of the year... there’s nothing derivative about Foucault's haunting allusions… the fundamental truths that emerge are undeniable… a harmonious minimalist sound. ”

NO DEPRESSION:

“There is no America like the one that serves as a backdrop for the songs on Jeffrey Foucault's aching new album… his spare, rootsy tunes are deceptively complex… the title track is the real stunner here… guitarist and producer Bo Ramsey augments Foucault’s acoustic songs with sinewy fills on electric guitar, adding a high-lonesome feel and ominous undertones.”

THE STRANGER (SEATTLE):

“Incisive… a contender for many 2006 Best-of lists… mesmerizing.”

THE WASHINGTON POST:

“Revealing layers of wisdom and wonder… [he] can conjure demons as adroitly as his Americana heroes Chris Smither and Townes van Zandt.”

THE IRISH TIMES:

“Quietly brilliant.”

THE DENVER POST:

“Excellent… Foucault’s strong, sandy voice and gently melodic tunes seem perfectly suited for nuanced material balancing poetic cultural critiques with songs about love... a mix of upbeat and pensive country-folk and blues… captures that mood without trying to be a definitive statement… oozes a comfortably leathered vibe.”

ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE:

“Honest and bittersweet… Foucault leavens the heavier moments of dark revelation with tender images and welcome doses of hope… [an] inimitable sense of space… his acoustic guitar is a warm constant - a steady companion to his gentle, leathery voice.”

MOJO:

“Songwriting brilliance.”

UTNE READER:

“He’s barely 30… but Jeffrey Foucault sounds like a grizzled old bachelor holed up in a one-room shack at the edge of a cornfield… haunting texture…weepy pedal steel… Taking a road trip this fall? Put this one on the playlist.”

THE BOSTON HERALD:

“An atmospheric Midwestern poet-troubadour, a charming presence and a splendid guitarist.”

PASTE MAGAZINE:

“Jeffrey Foucault’s voice [is] an emotive instrument that reaches an astonishingly wary, intimate place… ”

THE SUN (UK):

“ … a talent cut from the same cloth as Nick Drake or Townes Van Zandt… recommended to lovers of every kind of music.”

THE IRISH WORLD:

“Songwriting at its rawest and best.“

Q MAGAZINE (UK):

“An excellent third album… Americana doesn’t get much finer.”

UNCUT MAGAZINE (UK):

“A deceptively simple record of slow-yielding but undeniable treasures… exquisite.”