D.A. Foster is one of the more unusual success stories not very well known in blues, rock, and their splinters. At the tender age of 19, he was the hands-on co-owner of a highly respected and quite eclectic Connecticut roadhouse, The Shaboo Inn. Hell, man, I was working at a Taco Tio and a used book shop in those same years at just about the same age, so, lord, do I ever feel like an underachiever now! More, Foster's never been a hidebound R&B aficionado and practitioner and thus ushered in combos like Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Police, and a welter of rising ensembles, as well as top bluesmen and women, all given the chance to stretch out and trot their chops at Shaboo. That's like being an entrepreneur in England and rubbing elbows with Led Zeppelin, Cream, the Groundhogs, and all the greats.
The music establishment led to The Shaboo Allstars, soon opening for Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the formation of a music production company, but it was in fact those blooz catz passing thru Shaboo—Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and so many greats that it'd induce fits in normal human minds to read them all—who mentored Foster and even invited him on stage to get his feet wet. Appropriately, The Real Thing isn't really just a D.A. Foster release, it's the formation of a supergroup: Tony Braunagel on drums (also the co-producer); Mike Finnigan, the other producer, on keyboards; Larry Fulcher on bass (that guy gets around!); Johnny Lee Schell on guitar; and Lenny Castro on percussion, not to mention a raft of guests, and, Christ, I know a lot of TV shows that'd kill God to get that kind of talent all together in one place. The result, I don't need to tell you, is highly impressive.
We All Fall Down for instance, is straight-on smoky-blooded Lou Rawls, and the follow-on, Ain't Doin' Too Bad, is pure dynamite, a rockin' whiskey-voiced juggernaut that'll knock the socks off domestic and foreign audiences and may even get the ol' Rockpalast gents and their show, basically rock and roll's Montreaux, looking at crossing The Pond again, just to nab and host lo-down hi-tone stuff like Foster's. Then there's the cover of Eddie Hinton's Super Lover into an updated Rick James trip amid modernist jungley rhythms following a surreal intro, at once dancey, resurrectionist, and hilarious (that backing chorues is pure Shaft blaxploitationist high camp!). The main flow to Foster, though, is Lou Rawlsy: gritty while smooth, wistful, real life (catch Lie to Me), a cross between a television special from a glitzy Vegas showroom and a rave-up night club. One minute, you're a Stoic pondering the vicissitudes of life, and just one song later you jump up and cut a rug with the sexiest lass in the joint.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2015, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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