By Darryl Sterdan TINNITIST
Published - April 9, 2019
Glen Foster is throwing a Party Out There Tonight in his new video, premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
The veteran singer-songwriter takes his fun seriously on his upbeat new single.
The veteran singer-songwriter and accomplished guitar slinger takes his fun seriously. Especially these days. “Right now I’m into creating a positive message,” he explains. “I want to be encouraging and not just concentrate on all the negative things in the world. As a musician, an entertainer, I want to be uplifting, put a smile on somebody’s face and maybe make them laugh a little bit. I don’t want to be on a platform or be a preacher. I just want to make great music that people like.”
The respected B.C. artist’s positive mission statement couldn’t be made any clearer — or more enjoyably — than it is on his latest single Party Out There Tonight and its high-spirited video. An old-school rockabilly raveup fuelled by a tastefully twangy Telecaster lick and driven by a bouncing boogie beat, the lighthearted retro-rocker is guaranteed to be in heavy rotation at your next hoedown or throwdown.
PHOTO INSERT From left: Comic Glen (That Canadian Guy) Foster & musician Glen Foster.
Of course, that’s to be expected from a song co-written by someone who shares Foster’s desire to make people laugh — along with his name. “Thanks to the marvels of the Internet, I hooked up with the well-known comic Glen Foster — That Canadian Guy,” says the musical Foster. “We even did a show together once to coincide with one of my album releases. It was pretty neat. Then about a year ago, he sent me some lyrics. I came up with what I thought was a very cool guitar lick and wrote the song from there. When we played it for people, everybody liked it.”
The video shoot at a farm came together almost as serendipitously — though it was close. “I got ahold of my friend who owns and operates the farm and said, ‘Let’s have a party.’ He’s got a stage out there and a PA because he has a party there every summer. But this was November. Still, we got everybody on board. Then we had rain for two weeks. It was terrible. But lo and behold, on the Saturday of the shoot, it was warm and the sun was shining. So we went out and lit a bonfire and it was pretty neat. I think it reflects Canadian life: People are bundled up but we’re still outside playing rock ’n’ roll.”
Along the way, he’s created an impressive catalogue of adventurous, meticulously crafted music: Two Falcon albums, and four with the Glen Foster Group. GFG’s 2010 debut Trusted Tried and True featured guests like David Gogo, Gerry Barnum and The Turtle Doves. The 2012 concept album The Reckoning raised the bar with ambitious songcraft and political lyrics inspired by the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring. 2015’s acoustic outing Leaving the Lagoon featured bagpipes while 2017’s groovy, celebratory Music Alchemy co-starred a horn section. He’s even got a best-selling holiday single: The Spirit of Christmas, released in 1986 and remastered in 2011 for its 25th anniversary. But really, the party’s just getting started.
Watch Party Out There Tonight above, or keep up with Foster via his web site, Twitter and Facebook.
TINNITIST Hearing Music 24/7/365
By JOSEF JACOBSON The News Bulletin Published - Apr. 9, 2019
Foster co-wrote title track with comedian also named Glen Foster
Glen Foster’s new EP features an unexpected collaborator: Glen Foster.
When the Nanaimo guitarist learned that there was a comedian from Ontario with the exact same name, he sent him an e-mail saying, “Hey, here’s another Glen Foster,” and they had a laugh about it.
The next time Foster the comedian was performing in Vancouver, Foster the musician invited him to be his opening act at his next show at the Queen’s.
“It was pretty successful. We billed it as ‘The Glen Fosters Experience’ and from there it wasn’t too long after he said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea for a song,” Foster said.
The pair started exchanging lyrics online and soon came up with Party Out There Tonight, title track for Foster’s latest EP. The single is being released on April 9 with CD release shows set for April 12 and 13 at the Lighthouse Bistro.
Foster said his comic counterpart was an apt accomplice.
“Being a comedian and a performer, he’s conversant with dialogue and being able to deliver a succinct message to an audience that would either make them laugh or make them listen,” Foster said of his co-writer. “So between the two of us we had some pretty good ideas.”
The other three songs on the album are Feel Alright, a tune that’s been part of Foster’s repertoire for 20 years; Rockabilly Fever, a song he wrote to play at the rockabilly festival in Chemainus; and Somewhere Over the River, which Tom Petty gave to him in a dream.
“After [Petty] died I had a dream that he was on stage and I’m in the audience watching and the power went out,” Foster said. “So he’s on stage with nothing but a guitar so somebody yells out, ‘Just play something we can all sing along to,’ and so he started singing this song, ‘Somewhere over the river, not far away,’ and I woke up.”
The song includes a choir recorded at Christ Community Church.
Foster said Party Out There Tonight will form the basis of his next CD. In the fall he plans to record a few more songs and eventually release a full-length record.
WHAT’S ON … Glen Foster CD release at the Lighthouse Bistro on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m. No cover.
By Rachel Stern THE NEWS BULLETIN
Published - July 4, 2017
Unexpected events can create magical moments when it comes to creating music.
Nanaimo musician Glen Foster discovered the beauty of the unpredictable during the creation of the Glen Foster Group’s latest album Music Alchemy. The album features a number of brass instruments. Foster had never arranged for a brass section before, although he had collaborated with numbers brass instrument musicians, and had to discover the range of the instruments, the timbers and how they harmonize with other instruments. “The idea for the title is that I thought of all these different brass instruments coming into play … and the word I came up with was alchemy. It’s like a chemistry of things being put together,” said Foster. “The historical meaning of alchemy goes back to the ancient days where they tried to make gold out of things like lead.Foster said found a definition of alchemy as a process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, which fit with his album because he thought of it as a kind of musical chemistry and at times during the recording session “little magical things” begin to happen. ” You get this harmonization or blending of sounds or melodies that you are just not anticipating, you don’t plan out, but all of a sudden they appear and it’s just really neat,” he said. The Glen Foster Group is comprised of Foster, Marg Foster, Glenn Olsen, Pat Shonwise and Marty Steele. The group also collaborated with a number of special guests including Mark Crissinger, David Gogo, Paul Gogo, Dwight Gray, James McRae, Rick Salt and others. “Because I had so many people involved it really did create a kind of, I don’t know if I would use the word synergy, but that kind of thing where you share ideas and people come up with new concepts or like a little melody line that I wouldn’t have thought of, so it adds to the richness of the project having more collaborators,” said Foster. Foster said he needs to be inspired to write songs for the album. He can’t just sit down, pick up a guitar and start creating pieces. “There needs to be a seed and it moves to a simple instrument. It could be a piano or a cigar box guitar or something and then once I get the melody and rhythm happening on an instrument then the lyrics kind of follow,” he said. The Glen Foster Group performs during a album release event on July 14 and 15 at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. No cover. For more information about the Glen Foster Group, please visit www.glenfoster.ca. firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Morrison (Fascinating Rhythm, Nanaimo / www.thefreelancewriter.ca) Published - July 4, 2017
A good look at the photograph adorning the sleeve of this new offering from Nanaimo stalwarts the Glen Foster Group reveals clues as to the music the CD within holds. In what appears to be a musical laboratory, a gentleman in bright yellow safety clothing and hardhat is lowering various brass instruments into a ‘radioactive’ hopper, the resultant alchemy producing a gleaming gold bar from the outlet beneath. Supervising the process, Foster, wearing a lanyard and holding a clipboard, is holding one of these bars, as if checking it for quality or purity. Simply put, the image is a metaphor for Foster’s new sonic direction on the excellent Music Alchemy. Interestingly, he has deemed it ‘an experiment,’ but I see it as such a successful one he should continue in this vein if resources allow! Powered along by a 7-piece brass section, this release is an all-star affair on which Foster has thrown absolutely everything into the pot for a most rewarding listen. Taking cues from classic Stax, Atlantic, the musical heritage of New Orleans, a touch of funk and even a little country, Music Alchemy is by far Foster’s most fully realized project to date. Aside from his regular band the singer-songwriter-guitarist has recruited a veritable who’s who of respected local rock, blues and jazz veteran talent, amounting (including the brass section) to 21 guest contributors in all. At times reminiscent of such as Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and their rock-soul ilk, Music Alchemy is most certainly all killer, no filler. Every song has been meticulously arranged and features one or more of the guest musicians, either soloing or making a telling rhythmic or melodic contribution, and it all adds up to a powerful collection. To this end there are some truly thrilling moments, such as the wonderful bridge in Blue Monkey; David Gogo’s searing solo on the fun Cactus Whiskey & Alligator Steak (the sleeve design also featuring an alligator, I might add); the honky-tonk vibe of Stepping Out on Saturday Night, and the all-hands-on-deck brilliance of the inventive instrumental closer, Groove Eleven. Lyrically, although there is a little introspection in the superior ballad Why in the World, Music Alchemy never gets too serious, a factor that greatly benefits the overall soul party mood. The aforementioned Cactus Whiskey… is a lighthearted look at survival in the bayou, and there is even a witty ode to the popular Italian liqueur, Sambuca. All in all everyone involved with this ambitious recording seems to be having a great time, and the consequence is quite simply a rock solid and natural sounding album that should see Foster’s stock rise even higher. Going back to that sleeve image and Foster’s apparent inspection of the product in his hands, it seems to me that the quality and purity of that gold bar in his hands are extremely high, perhaps even 24 karats!
By Rachel Stern THE NEWS BULLETIN Published - Jan 20, 2016
Sometimes leaving a comfortable place in a person’s life can cause pain. Occasionally it leads to adventure and a change for the better. The theme of leaving places or people behind is explored on the Glen Foster Group’s latest album, Leaving The Lagoon. Foster, lead vocalist and guitarist, was inspired by his canoe and kayak trips and travels on Cortes Island and Powell River. “A lot of the songs refer to being on the water” said Foster. The beauty of nature and being out there to find a place of inner peace is quite inspirational.” The flow of waves, rivers or the currents of lakes also inspire Foster’s lyrics. “You get the rhythm of the waves, which is like the music, it has a rhythm to it,” he said. Over his travels, Foster collected pieces of information, such as interesting place names that stuck out. Places like the Jail House Café, in Powell River, are some of the “funny little names of places’ Foster collected. When it came to writing the songs he used this information, picked up his guitar and came up with a melody to compose his lyrics. “The lyrics are an important aspect of my music. A lot of them tell stories and talk about situations and descriptions,” said Foster. Telling a story is an essential part of Foster’s art. The latest work is a concept album, an album that expresses a theme. “The lagoon kind of symbolizes your comfort zone or happy place and then leaving, you need to get out of the comfort zone or you’re forced to leave,” said Foster. Foster said leaving that comfortable place can allow people to find adventure and the results can be either good or bad. Foster is influenced by different musical styles. It’s reflected on the latest album. He collaborated with various musicians including Caleb McIntyre, who plays bagpipes; Marty Steele who plays piano and vocalists Susan Boland and Marg Foster. Other musicians he worked with on the album include Pat Shonwise, the Glen Foster Group bassist; Glenn Olsen on drums; Gerry Barnum, Steve Eakins and Dwight Gray. Foster said he loves collaborating with artists because they each bring a different perspective to the music he might not have thought of while creating it. He’s been a musician for more than 30 years. It’s the connection with people he enjoys, both fans and other musicians. Musical influences include Bob Dylan and Neil Young for their use of lyrical stories on their albums. Vocal influences include The Beach Boys. And one of Nanaimo’s great guitar players, David Gogo, influences his guitar skills. Foster actually taught Gogo guitar in the past. The Glen Foster Group is hosting a CD release party for Leaving The Lagoon with special guest Mark Crissinger this Saturday (Jan.23) 9pm to midnight at The Vault Café. Admission is $5.
By Julie Chadwick THE STAR
Published - May 3, 2013
"There's a city in flames, a flag on fire, the streets are occupied. Nations rage, war is waged, and access is denied." So begins the title track off The Reckoning, a new album from local singer/songwriter Glen Foster that he will debut at The Vault on Saturday. One might be forgiven for thinking Foster refers nostalgically to some past era of political strife -- the late '60s perhaps -- but the song's 'reckoning' is about the exposure of the financial scandal perpetrated by U.S. banks that lead to the '08 stock market collapse. Vietnam-era folk music used to be saturated in the political climate of the times, said Foster. He laments that though political expression has continued to flourish in environments like the Occupy movement, popular music hasn't followed suit. "There's a lot of focus on dance and the rhythmic aspect of pop music that has extremely thin lyrical content, to put it mildly," said Foster with a chuckle. "It's a focus instead of the typical 'I love you, baby' love songs." It is part of what has formed the basis of Foster's decision to stay independent throughout his 30-plus years of music-making. "There's nobody dictating that you have to go on the road, or that you have to play certain venues, or record in certain places," said Foster. "No one dictating your sound and making you somebody you're not comfortable being," he added. After studying jazz, Chet Atkins-style guitar and Hawaiian and classical guitar, in part at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Foster took to the road and made a living as a traveling musician for 10 years. Though he says musically his sound is "all over the place" in terms of genre, he considers Bob Dylan and Neil Young to be formative influences. He has opened for Sammy Hagar, Dr. Hook, Jose Feliciano, Valdy and Jesse Winchester, to name a few. In the early '80s, tired of a life on the road, Foster settled down and spent the next ten years teaching at Ferguson Music. Though he remains creatively 'single,' Foster's albums often feature local performers like blues guitarist David Gogo, blues harmonica player Gerry Barnum, and vocalists The Turtle Doves. He also produces recordings for other artists and operates his own indie record label and publishing company called Rescue Records. The Reckoning is Foster's fourth CD, and was recorded in Nanaimo with producer Rick Salt. His CD release party is at the Vault, 499 Wallace Street, on Saturday (May 4) from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and there will be CDs available to purchase.