Music is a huge part of my life. I listen to it in the car (where I am an awesome singer), at work and at home. I especially love seeing my favorite artists live. There’s just something about seeing them perform in person. And when I can see them up close and peek through a tiny crack into the window of their soul, their music becomes even more personal.
Last October I attended an Indy Acoustic Café Series concert at the Wheeler Center for the Arts featuring Radney Foster. He was nothing short of amazing.
I’ve been a fan of Radney since college. He’s a country singer-songwriter who started out in the duo Foster and Lloyd. I first heard his songs “Nobody Wins” and “Just Call Me Lonesome” in the early 90s from his album Del Rio, TX 1959. Such soulful singing and wonderful lyrics. Not bad on the eyes either.
He was in town in 2015 but by the time I found out about the show, it was sold out. I was so disappointed. I added him to my Bandsintown App so that wouldn’t happen again. Bingo!
To prepare for the show I listened to his repertoire on Spotify for a couple weeks leading up to the show. He was promoting his new CD and accompanying book, both titled For You to See the Stars. Right out of the gate, the title track made me weepy. At work, no less. Just beautiful.
When concert day arrived, I couldn’t contain my excitement. This venue is like, 100 people ya’ll. My friend Julie went with me and we sat in the third row (I didn’t want to be too stalk-ish). Radney played with Eddie Heinzelman (a fantastic guitarist in his own right and from Indiana). It was an incredible show. He sang, he told stories, he read from the book. He has the best accent. He’s still hot, even though the dark wavy hair that I remember has turned silver. I teared up once more when he sang the title song. I also got emotional at the end of the show when he sang, “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” after explaining why he wrote it. Of course, I had to buy the book and the CD, and after the show he hung around to sign them.
I played his CD in my car for a couple months after the concert. I’ve been a country music fan for over 20 years, but I don’t care for a lot of the music currently played on country stations. After I scan the stations and can’t find anything I like (on the pop or rock stations either), it became Radney time. It’s still in my permanent car rotation.
Those who know me well, know that I’m a huge James Taylor fan. Well, Radney is giving Sweet Baby James a run for his money. I’m serious. I will always love James, but Radney is right up there with him in my musical book. And speaking of book, Radney’s book is amazing. He read the story “Bridge Club” at the show and had us rolling. “I had peed on bridge club.”
If you are any kind of a music fan, please give Radney’s music, and specifically this CD a listen. And please give his book of short stories a read. With these two masterpieces, everybody wins.
(P.S. - I am sooo late in posting this, but finally tweaked it enough and had time to do it justice. My initial draft was incredibly long so there was much to do, along with other life happenings. Please know that my lateness in posting in no way relates to this performance's effect on me.)