We were very excited when Chris agreed to come to the Mag, as he is based in Iceland these days, so it was a bit of a long trip to East Dulwich! But crikey, that was way back in 2010. We shouldn’t have left it so long to book him again!
Chris Foster is a master of his trade. Alongside Nic Jones, Dick Gaughan and June Tabor, he established himself in the 1970’s as one finest interpreters of the traditional ballads of the British Isles with tales of romance, magic, murder, liquor, love, adultery and cross dressing.
Each song is a story. Shared experiences of the human condition, instantly recognisable to all audiences, crossing the boundaries of urban and rural experience, of past and present.
Chris has a distinctive voice, deep and clear with a faint overlay of his native Somerset, and a vocal style that incorporates a subtle use of decoration with an intricate and exciting sense of rhythmic patterns. He provides guitar accompaniments that range from fine filigree lines to beautifully paced punchy, rhythmic counterpoint harmony, weaving words and music together to complement the action of the story.
Underpinning it all is his on-stage persona, with his urbane wit and engaging enthusiasm for his music that draws the audience into his performance.
‘As one who has witnessed the development of ‘English’ guitar accompaniment to traditional songs, I have always ranked Chris as one of our most exciting interpreters…. My old vinyl copies of his 2 Topic albums remain precious.Chris remains a consummate artist.’Graham Lobb – The Living Tradition.
‘His is one of the most distinctive voices in English folk music, totally sure and engaging, with some of the most accomplished and sensitive guitar accompaniments that you are likely to hear. A mesmeric performer.’ Vic Smith – The Folk Diary.