Ian Foster is loving life on the road

Karla Hayward
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When your latest tour is sponsored by Griffiths Guitarworks, MusicNL, and the provincial government, you're probably well on your way to being an established - and successful - musician.

Such is the life of Ian Foster, sometimes of the Ian Foster Band, but for his current tour, solo. Where's he been playing? All over Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Ian Foster

When your latest tour is sponsored by Griffiths Guitarworks, MusicNL, and the provincial government, you're probably well on your way to being an established - and successful - musician.

Such is the life of Ian Foster, sometimes of the Ian Foster Band, but for his current tour, solo. Where's he been playing? All over Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

"It's been all kinds of venues, really. Everything from cafes to festival stages to the typical bar show, so (it has) been a great cross-section."

Foster's touring in support of his previous album, "Through the Wires," but also as a warm-up to what's upcoming.

"This tour is basically solo acoustic. I'm still promoting the songs from the last record, but also bridging to the next album as well ... I'm gearing up to record a solo acoustic album in the fall because I recently received a MusicNL recording grant."

If you haven't yet picked up "Through the Wires," you should. Foster says it's basically about distance, in a number of ways.

"Distance from society, from yourself, from a lover, all of those things. And obviously when you're on tour there's lots of distance involved, so it's neat in that sense."

Foster's one of those great singer-songwriter's who's not easy to pin down or compare to someone else.

Pressed, you'd perhaps liken him to musicians such as Matthew Good, Damien Rice, maybe Matthew Sweet (though that's one he hasn't heard before). Asked who he thinks he sounds like, he says, "It's tricky."

"I find when I play live I have people come up and give me comparisons that I completely agree with, in the sense that I listen to them all the time, and then others compare me to people I've never even heard of."

Being on this tour seems to have changed Foster's "process" a little.

"I've written three songs since I've been on the road which is kind of strange for me because usually my cycle is I have all these experiences and then I take a retrospective and write about them. But this has been a bit more reactionary, which is very cool."

And that writing while en route is likely a heavy influence in his choice of theme for the new disc.

"The next record is going to be focused more on cities. So, the tour's been great because I've travelled to all these cities, great and small, being inspired. ... It's not a concept record by any means. It's not a Pink Floyd album or anything. But it does have a unifying theme. I love records that have that: where you can listen to each song on it's own but you can have a bigger picture in mind, too."

He says the new album will also be a little more folky than previous, with elements of pop rock and acoustic singer-songwriter thrown in for good measure.

Foster plays old tunes and new jams Friday at the Rose and Thistle. For info, visit www.myspace.com/ifbmusic.

telyarts@yahoo.ca

Organizations: Pink Floyd

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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