Concert Review: Foster & Lloyd at Eddie’s Attic
If you’re a fan of live music, chances are that you’ve got a list of regrets – acts that you never got to see in concert, and now it’s too late. I’ve got more than a few names on that list, chief of which was Foster and Lloyd. Their debut album was the first cassette tape I ever bought with my own money, and their music helped start me down that slightly left-of-center path that I’ve followed since. The fact that they never became more famous helped me to realize that mainstream radio didn’t have a monopoly on good music. Unfortunately, they broke up before I was old enough to get into any of the country bars in town, and I figured that was that.
The good news is, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd parted well and remained friends, and after a 20-year hiatus, they’re back with a new album, It’s Already Tomorrow, and concert dates to support it. Friday night’s show at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga., marked their last scheduled show of 2011, and I got to tick one name off my concert wish list.
The most notable thing about the new Foster & Lloyd album is that after two decades apart and a flurry of solo albums, they were able to slip back into that Foster & Lloyd sound without missing a beat. The concert went very much the same way. Once they got on stage and started playing classic songs like “Fair Shake” and “Crazy Over You,” the harmonies and the signature guitar licks all fell right back into place. The new songs from Tomorrow fit in nicely as well. The clever, slightly smartass lyrics from “That’s What She Said” and the heartfelt emotions of “If It Hadn’t Been for You” would have been right at home from any of the duo’s earlier albums. Both old and new songs found a welcoming audience at Eddie’s Attic, which was filled with long-time fans, friends and even a few kids to represent the next generation of music fans.
Foster & Lloyd’s influences were readily apparent, as “What Do You Want from Me This Time” morphed into The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” and back again. “Tel-Star” from British surf band The Tornados also made a cameo by way of a Lloyd guitar solo. On the country side, both men readily admitted to filching the Buck Owens sound for “You Can’t Make Love Make Sense.”
That’s what made Foster & Lloyd so special to begin with. They combined a love of classic country with a love of power pop and British Invasion rock and made it work. The duo’s songs may have strayed to the outer edges of country music on occasion (search out “Fat Lady Sings” some time), but never so far that they lost their country sound.
Both Foster and Lloyd have busy solo careers, so time will tell if this was a one-off project or the start of a semi-regular event. But for a concert that was about 20 years in the waiting, it did not disappoint.
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