Salt as Wolves
Following one of the most somnolescent songs I’ve heard in a long while, Jeffrey Foucalt’s Salt As Wolves develops into a very enjoyable country/folk album in the John Mellencamp vein (fortunately, not in the recent and execrable “John Deere 3:16 style… jeez does that song suck.) Solid yet simple guitar work, basic drum and bass time-keeping and a mature, slightly raspy singer combine to deliver twelve tunes with more real country in them than the entire Country Top 40 you’ll hear on any contemporary country station in any urban center in America.
While my own personal tastes run to a more up-tempo style of music, I totally dig what Foucalt is trying to do here. Presenting us with a roots-based country album really highlights the garish un-rooted and derivative nature of the current crop of country music stars.
As mentioned in the intro, the opening track, “Des Moines” could put a platoon of seventh grade ADD sufferers to sleep. However, “Rico” and “I Left This Town” pick up the pace, to where “I Left This Town” could easily become a minor radio hit. “I Love You (and You are a Fool)” drops the energy back down to Quaaludes level, and most of the rest of the album remains at somewhere along the slow ambling pace reminiscent of some of the more bluesy country tunes of the late 60s and early 70s.
This is not the album for late-night drives in the country – you’ll fall asleep and drive into a cow. This is perfect, however, for an afternoon drinking beer and sitting around doing as little as possible as the sun bakes you to a crisp. If the slower side of Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Conway Twitty appeal to you, you’ll enjoy this music. If your enjoyment of country music doesn’t go much further back than Garth Brooks… don’t bother unless you’re willing to hear what real country music should sound like.