Jim Foster plays the Old Boot Eatery on Saturday, March 3. Many will remember Foster from his days with 1970s band Fosterchild. The band released two albums and enjoyed success with hit singles like “Too Late Now To Turn Back” and “I Need Somebody Tonight.” In 1986, Foster released a solo album titled Powerlines that included the hit “X-Ray Eyes.” That track took Best Song, Best Songwriter, and Best Video at the West Coast Music Awards, and cemented Foster’s reputation as a skilled and talented songwriter. Foster is also an accomplished guitarist, earning a nomination to the Canadian Country Music Association’s All Star Band as best guitarist for his work with Jann Arden.
Foster has been playing guitar and writing songs since he was 12. “It came really naturally to me,” says Foster of his talents. “It’s what I love more than anything else.” He has penned songs for Doug and The Slugs, co-written tunes with Murray MacLachlan, and wrote the top 10 single “Here We Go Again,” for Patricia Conroy whose album, Bad Day for Trains, took CCMA’s Album of the Year Award in 1993. “You’re just working hard,” says Foster of being successful in the music industry. “It’s about writing the next song and recording it properly.” Over his four decades in the business, he’s also engineered and produced recordings for others, as well as “doing it all” for his 2009 solo album Lone Bird, leaving himself exhausted by the end. His next CD, Sailor’s Advice, by contrast, was just him singing and playing guitar, recorded to his iPhone. “The more I did it [record to his phone], the more I found myself finding where the sweet spot was,” says Foster. “I could record live vocal and guitar at the same. You’re not overdubbing anything so you capture the magic of the moment.” His latest CD, 6 Foot Ladder, also features songs recorded on his phone, along with some on a small recorder. “I can record live but I can manipulate it better after the fact,” says Foster, noting that it also allows him to record in stereo. “[I’m] going back to the ‘real deal,’” he says of his current work. “Still trying to come up with something that moves people in a simple way with some music and some words.”
Foster has only been living on the Coast for the last two years and finds “there’s a neat little intimacy” to playing pubs and restaurants. It’s also proving to be a good way to meet people and create community. “Every night is its own event,” he says of playing the small venues. “It becomes a special evening.”
Jim Foster plays The Old Boot Eatery on Saturday, March 3 from 6-9pm. Call 604-885-2727 for reservations.