“My daddy’s mother was from Sulphur Springs,” he said during a telephone conversation from his Nashville home. “She was Mary Lou Carothers.”
Foster, who made his debut with recording partner Bill Lloyd in 1986, says people come up to him after shows to talk about their connection.
“They’ll say, ‘You don’t know me, but I think we’re cousins on your daddy’s side,’” he said with a laugh. “Most of that side of the family settled in Dallas, so I didn’t get back to Sulphur Springs very much.”
Joining Foster & Lloyd on the evening’s roster will be Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson doing an acoustic set.
Series coordinator Larry Green Jr. calls the concert a showcase of five decades of trendsetting country-rock.
“Chris Hillman was one of the first artists to combine country and rock in the 1960s with the Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers,” Green said. “In my opinion Hillman is one of the true visionary American musicians.”
Foster & Lloyd were influenced by the Byrds and brought the country-rock sound into the 1980s along with Hillman and Pedersen's group, The Desert Rose Band.
“Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd reunited as a duo last year,” Green continued. “Whereas Hillman and Pedersen were from the California country scene, Foster & Lloyd were among the first groups to expand the boundaries of the Nashville music scene with their country-rock sound.”
Foster & Lloyd joined forces when they were both young songwriters in Nashville. Together they wrote “Since I Found You,” which was a top ten hit for the girl duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo in 1986.
Between 1986 and 1990, they recorded three studio albums and charted nine singles on the country charts. They parted ways in 1990, but came together in December of last year to record a new CD, “It’s Already Tomorrow.” Foster released a solo CD, “Revival,” in 1999.
The duo is known for the rockabilly flavor of their music.
“We could never resist Buck Owens,” he explained. “That Bakersfield sound influenced a lot of Texas music. It sure did for me.”
The Texas connection touched Foster & Lloyd again soon after their first record was released in 1987.
“Our manager called and asked us if we wanted to write songs with Guy Clark,” Foster said. Clark is the dean of Texas songwriters. His hits include “L.A. Freeway” and “Hemingway’s Whiskey.” Foster recently covered “L.A. Freeway,” a song most associated with Jerry Jeff Walker, for the 2-CD Guy Clark tribute CD, “This One’s for Him.”
The three musicians met in Clark’s small Nashville office on 17th Avenue. They were working on what would be “Fair Shake,” a hit song, when the phone rang.
“Guy had this old big black phone,” Foster remembers. “Guy said, ‘I’m sitting here with these boys Foster and Lloyd.”
Clark put his hand over the receiver and asked, “Hey, do you guys mind if Townes Van Zandt comes over?”
Fort Worth native Townes Van Zandt was Clark’s best friend and touring partner for 30 years. He died on Jan. 1, 1997, after a long battle with drug and alcohol abuse.
“We were like deer in the headlights,” Foster said. “We spent the afternoon with two of the greatest songwriters ever.”
Foster performed “L.A. Freeway” at Guy Clark’s 70th birthday concert in Austin. He said it was a daunting to task to play the tune in front of both Clark and Walker.
“I walked into the recording session with my [Fender] Telecaster [electric guitar] and a little Princeton amplifier that’s ancient,” he explained.
The record’s producer, Tamara Saviano, was not happy. She hadn’t planned on having electric instruments on the tracks.
“I told her, ‘Tamara, I’m going to plug it in and I’m going to play this through one time with the band,’” he said. “‘If you hate it, I’ll pack it up and I won’t play guitar at all. You’ve got Shawn Camp and Verlon Thompson [on acoustic guitar]. What do you need me for?’”
The combination of the Telecaster’s pianoesque tremolo and the amplifier’s unique sound was a hit with everyone.
“Tamara said, ‘I?love it,’” Foster said. “Jerry Jeff told me backstage [at the show] that I had made it my own. It changed the whole song.”
Foster is looking forward to the performance in Greenville.
“It’s a cool series,” he noted. “I did it once before with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Brandon Rhyder. I’ll be playing somewhere and people will find out I’ve done the series before and they’ll say, ‘I want to go there someday.’”
The Threadgill Series is held at the historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Greenville. Tickets for the concert are on sale now at Cavender’s in Greenville. Tickets may also be purchased online through the auditorium’s website: www.ShowtimeAtThe-GMA.com,
or by calling 877-4-FLY-TIX.
|< Prev||Next >|