Jeffrey Foucault


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 eleven 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 started 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.

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.

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.