Josephine Foster – An Die Musik

An Die Musik is part of a fascinating release by Josephie Foster which presents a modern revival of a tradition in German music known as a lieder. Lieders refer to the practice of setting the words of German Romantic poets like Goethe to music which was particularly popular among composers like Schubert and Schumann. Though music has accompanied poetry for about as long as both poetry and music have existed, the term lieder or lied often describes a setting for piano and solo vocalist, though some were composed for a full orchestra. Foster recasts this tradition with her haunting vocals and interleaving guitar strumming and distorted electric riffs for her second album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. I found this release because it was recorded and mixed by John Dawson of New Riders of the Purple Sage fame, whose discography I’ve been known to peruse from time to time. This lied was originally composed by Schubert and is a setting of a poem by Franz von Schober.

Foster has released a number of albums of her own compositions since the release of A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Her most recent album, No More Lamps in the Morning, was released on Fire America Records earlier in 2016.

Meg Baird – All I Ever Wanted

Meg Baird began her music career as the vocalist and guitarist of Philadelphia psychedelic folk trio Espers along with Greg Weeks before releasing a string of solo releases. “All I Ever Wanted” appears on her first solo record, Dear Companion which was released by Drag City in 2007. The tune was originally penned by John Dawson for the first New Riders of the Purple Sage album, which features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel, Mickey Hart on percussion, and Phil Lesh credited as a producer.

Dear Companion features a mix of covers, arrangements of traditional folk tunes, and original songs and it’s a treat from start to finish. She has since released two more solo records on Drag City, including Don’t Weigh Down the Light at the end of 2015, and has appeared on releases by Kurt Vile, Sharon Von Etten, and Glenn Jones. I couldn’t find much in the way of tour dates in support of her latest album, but if I were a betting man I’d say it’d be a pretty awesome show.