The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Regular Columnists

CD REVIEW: Kiyoshi Foster - Songs From the Sidewalk Saloon
By Chip Withrow - 03/06/2007 - 12:32 AM EST

Artist: Kiyoshi Foster
Album: Songs From the Sidewalk Saloon
CD Review: Kiyoshi Foster’s eccentrically played and sung Songs from the Sidewalk Saloon is a giddy delight to listen to. Maybe it's just because of all the peculiar ways music has affected me over the years, but this is like what I hear in a dreamy yet hyper-aware trance - good ole groove music with nifty flourishes of weirdness.

Foster plays most of the music himself, and his strength seems to be as a player of guitar and other stringed things. But he also adds organ, unusual percussion, and some instruments I've never heard of.

The first cut, "Everything I Am" bounds right at you like a mad scientist entering the lab. It’s ska-ish with increasingly wild vocals and a shredded guitar solo. Then comes the beautifully soulful, Van Morrison-esque “Angel on the Farm.” Later on, “Moon, Stars and River” has that Morrison country/soul feel, with some aching slide guitar.

“All the Time” has that off-kilter ska vibe again, and some clever lyrics; Foster's background vocals are wild and fun, too. “Finally Feel Free” has a Steve Miller “Joker” lope to it, and some loopy sitar. (There’s also a smoky piano-only version of “All the Time” at the end of the album.)

“The Big Ballroom” is a heck of a party tune. Plucked banjo, trippy ‘60s organ, sonic peals of guitar, sing-along potential – but it ends way, way too soon. Then comes the haunting, sensually funky “Elephant in Clouds,” which features Foster’s best vocal on the CD and a piercing acoustic guitar solo (great stripped down version as a bonus track, too).

“Jasmine” soars – swirling guitar, jubilant vocals, another sing-along chorus. It’s straightforward and poppy compared to what follows: the percussive, Eastern drone of “Life Is Breathing.”

My wife and I had a few beers one afternoon, cleaned the house, and listened to this album; she called it “sexy.” It’s also pretty groovy late at night, with a few glasses of wine and some headphones to catch all the weird and wonderful noises swirling around.

[ Current Articles | Archives ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement