REVIEW: Jeffrey Foucault and Ry Cavanaugh St Bonaventure's 8/10
AS far as the publicity was concerned, Jeffrey Foucault was the headliner, with Ry Cavanaugh taking second billing.
That is not how it turned out, however, for a great deal of the time the two American singers shared the stage.
Opening the show was 17-year- old Somerset schoolgirl Leila Addyman. Her songs were a little angst-ridden, but she has a lovely voice, writes and plays well and it was an impressive performance.
Ry Cavanaugh may be better known as a member of Session Americana than as a solo artist and a number of the songs in his short first set were in the band's repertoire, including his opening number Raking Through The Ashes. He also dropped in some covers, but it was his own song Hurricane Edna, inspired by an essay by Charlotte's Web author E B White, that was a highlight.
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Jeffrey Foucault, who last played in Bristol in 2006, seems to reflect a John Steinbeck-era America of drifters, dusty roads, Mexican bars (Mesa Arizona), ferry boats (Careless Flame) and coal trains (Cross Of Flowers).
During the second half of the evening, both singers were on stage. Cavanaugh gave us Barbed Wire, about an Irish assassin in love, the folky Cruel Sea and Lighthouse Light and an odd version of New Order's Love Vigilantes.
Foucault's contribution included A Pretty Girl In A Small Town,Starlight And Static, Everybody's Famous and a version of Norman Blake's cowboy ballad Billy Gray.
They closed together, with versions of John Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness and The Everly Brothers' classic So Sad.
It was a night of great songs, but the mood was very downbeat and a few lighter happier songs might have been appreciated.