Jeffrey Foucault

Ghost repeaters are unmanned radio stations that broadcast narrow, prerecorded playlists — the AM radio equivalent of the record bins at Wal-Mart. Wisconsin-born, Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault has been waging war on bland Muzak all of his life, and this ironically titled set strikes another blow for genuine music made by people with their hearts and souls intact. Foucault, producer/guitar ace Bo Ramsey, and a handful of invited guests put a subtle polish on eleven dark gems that examine the precarious journeys of citizens still hopeful enough to keep pursuing the slowly unraveling American dream. Foucault's weary growl perfectly complements these bleak vignettes of people finely balanced between hope and desolation. Foucault's moaning vocal and the subtle, ghostly reverb of Ramsey's electric guitar drive home the painful nostalgia of "I Dream an Old Lover." Even in relatively up-tempo tunes like "Mesa, Arizona" and "One for Sorrow" — the portrait of a newly married couple off on a honeymoon that will end with a lifetime of hard work — an implied grief in Foucault's delivery makes the music cut to the bone.

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J. Poet