This newest release from Radney Foster (and The Confessions) presents to us many of the reasons Radney Foster has been riding high in the charts, not only in Country, but also Americana and the AAA, as well as earning the respect of his peers in all three areas of music. On Revival, the main thing that strikes the listener is the sincerity of emotion in the song, by both he and the band. There are 12 songs and Mr. Foster wrote all, sometimes with help from friends. Yes, it is about his view of faith in this world, however, it is more about a way to live than exalting in one's personal belief in a specific God or faith system. The songs, though not ambiguous, can be listened to with either the religious or secular meaning of the words. It is a delicate balance but one he walks with perfectly. He never lets his personal belief take precedence over what he wants from the music. This must have taken work to avoid the pitfalls contained in these subjects. Make no mistake. From the opening notes of A Little Revival, to the reprise of this song, this disc rocks away. The Confessions are: Jefferson Crowe on keys, and Keith Brogdon handles drums and percussion. Justin Tocket is on bass. Georgia Middleman provides background vocals, and Eric Borash on lots of guitars; and they know their business and do it well. There are a whole kit n' caboodle of additional musicians to add some punch and fill in on certain songs where his vision of the song exceeds his instrumentation. There is even help from The American Soul and Rock and Roll Choir.
Revival is a beautiful job of threading the needle between forces that can be contradictory and inflammatory. Because I had some reservations about writing a review about a 'religious' themed disc, I played it for a friend, who is stridently anti-religion, with no foreword, and he enjoyed the music though he is not a country fan (It was with Foster and Lloyd that he established a name) and thought it was just about life situations. The music they present rocks out when the song calls for it and the buckle polishing numbers are stately. It is arguably his most complete disc in quite a while.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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