CD review: INDIGO RAIN
By: Dan Brisebois
Along with stellar vocals, strong writing and tight arrangements help make Sandy Foster's latest release glisten with passion.
INDIGO RAIN is the Edmonton native's sixth album, and she's honed her craft for the better part of a decade, either as a solo performer, part of a duo, or with a full band. The album combines elements of fine musicianship throughout the album, each with their own personality.
This album admittedly is not going to be to everyone's taste all of the time. This is more suited to an otherwise quiet intimate setting, with a candlelit room and a fireplace for a backdrop. Foster weaves seamlessly between laid back lounge style Adult Contemporary to swinging jazz, with subtle hints of light pop and blues thrown in the mix. The fact the record is so well done warrants the attention of any serious music lover.
Foster's choice of covers is impeccable - Connie Kaldor's "Bigger Than Anywhere Else," John Hall's "Dance With Me," a fresh dusting off of the old east coast traditional tune "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," and the old standard covered by nearly half of the classic country roster, "Make The World Go Away."
Her original recordings are just as stellar, written with emotion, with emphasis on the soul. An electric guitar isn't heard much, but the solos in "Tell Me Yes" and "Into The Blue" scream of intimacy. Not having unnecessary extra studio work done gives the solo the prominence it deserves, perfect compliments to a pair of particularly well-done haunting numbers. It's the same slick production value that lets "That's Enough Blue," "Deep Blue," and "Cerulean Sernade" shine.
The organ-driven "Nothin' But Sea and Skye" and carefully restrained rock rhythms of "Time To Go" are the most uptempo songs that beckons a second lesson, then a third.
Sandy Foster's in possession of one of the most soulful voices on Alberta's independent scene. Her influences include the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, and Eva Cassidy. Those early seeds have blossomed into an overall very good album. She's just as willing to seduce you with a piano ballad as she is to bring back memories. It's her ability to write relateable songs, from experiences, hopes and dreams - and then transform them in the studio that makes her, and INDIGO RAIN, special.