Personnel: Frank Foster (vocals); Chris Lohr (vocals, guitar); Chief Trossil (steel guitar); Brad Neher (keyboards); Ron Lavella (drums).
Audio Mixer: Chris Lohr.
Photographer: Gaby Vincent.
In the early 2010s, serious country music fans often complained that too much of the contemporary music associated with the genre was too polished and poppy to be the real deal. Those looking for a bit of the old-school Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd authenticity -- and willing to reach outside the radio playlists to find some indie gold -- found a powerful kindred spirit in Frank Foster. A no-nonsense Louisiana-based country-rock singer, he was inspired by those legends (along with the Marshall Tucker Band, the Allman Brothers, and Steve Earle); once worked on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico (earning him many fans who had similar jobs), and sang authentically and proudly about being one of them "Blue Collar Boys" -- a tongue in cheek, blues-influenced autobiographical rocker that sums up the edgier charms of Red Wings and Six Strings -- the follow-up to his 2011 set Rowdy Reputation. He adapts that vibe into a more lilting feel on the opening title track, another piece of his life that talks about his life before music, his travels and dreams. Foster's ability to connect lies in the raw emotional authenticity of his storytelling, whether it's on the fiery rock ballad "Kind I Like" or the lighter, more simmering fare of "Tonight." "About the Beer" blends the best of both worlds, weaving humor about being a simple Southern man into a more serious, metaphor-filled meditation about who he is and what he loves. ~ Jonathan Widran