Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Fire Records
Genre(s): Folk, Neo-Traditional Folk, International, Alternative Folk, Western European Traditions, Spanish Folk
Following up the superb 2010 album Anda Jaleo, Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band don’t disappoint with Perlas, a new collection of Spanish folkloric songs and poems. Foster, who is American, has an ethereal, otherworldly, tremulous voice that soars, whispers and enchants as she sings from a diverse range of Spanish folk traditions: Castile, Basque, Santander and the Costa Brava, to name but a few. The Victor Herrero Band plays glorious arrangements on an assortment of traditional stringed instruments, their intensity providing an almost harsh backdrop to her voice.
American folk singer/songwriter Josephine Foster teams up with a band led by Spanish singer/guitarist Victor Herrero for Anda Jaleo, which is a new version of the collection of Spanish folk songs called Las Canciones Populares when it was recorded in 1931 by Federico García Lorca, who collected the songs, and the group La Argentinita. Although the songs do not have any overt political content, they were banned under the Franco dictatorship and have been identified with the Spanish Civil War. In the U.S., performers such as the Weavers (who recorded "Anda Jaleo" itself) have taken them up.
Despite her prolific and varied career as a singer/songwriter, Josephine Foster’s enduring reputation might rest most heavily upon her skill as an arranger and interpreter of other people’s work. From her mind-bending re-visionings of German lieder in 2006’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing to her most recent solo album of Emily Dickinson poems set to acoustic guitar, Graphic as a Star, Foster has demonstrated a talent for taking songs and poems that are brilliant in their own right and putting her own unique stamp upon them. A notable entry into that body of work was Foster’s collaboration with Spanish folk artists The Victor Herrero Band on a reinterpretation of Federico García Lorca and La Argentinita’s Coleccion De Las Canciones Populares Espanolas.