· GEORGE FOSTER - DIVINE SOUL RIDE (GYR177) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. DANCIN' WITH THE DEVIL
02. I DID MY TIME
03. MY CHEATIN' WAYS
04. BRAND NEW DANCER
05. EVANGELINE
06. SECRETS
07. SHOT DOWN
08. HARD TIMES
09. SOUL RIDE
10. MAHARISHI SAYS...YER SHIP
11. THE FIELDS OF ABERDARE


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR177 - $14.99

Excellent debut studio disc by this bad-ass, blues/rock guitarist from California featuring 11 tracks of pure, retro-70s, heavy guitar-fueled music that lands with style, class and soul-power. George Foster digs deep in the six string groove and delivers a killer set of strong material that rocks the blues to a new level of guitar rock excellence. The "Divine Soul Ride" disc also features the outstanding vocal talents of Jarrett Williams, a true superb, soul-powered, world-class vocalist who shines with dynamic strength & melody. The outstanding rhythm section consists of John Hart on Bass and Gary Ferguson on Drums. Ferguson is a professional seasoned veteran of supreme drum playing skills who has played and recorded with the likes of Gary Moore, Glenn Hughes, Les Dudek & Eddie Money among many others throughout his long-standing musical career. Prepare to take a memorable, vintage blues rockin', heavy guitar fueled "Divine Soul Ride" that is inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino & King's X.

The George Foster - "Divine Soul Ride" disc from Grooveyard Records is an essential "musical document" that is Highly Recommended to fans of world-class, retrofied, old-school, blues-based, heavy guitar rock music that lands classic and timeless.


MP3 Sample Clips

01. DANCIN' WITH THE DEVIL
02. I DID MY TIME
03. MY CHEATIN' WAYS
04. BRAND NEW DANCER
05. EVANGELINE
06. SECRETS
07. SHOT DOWN
08. HARD TIMES
09. SOUL RIDE
10. MAHARISHI SAYS...YER SHIP
11. THE FIELDS OF ABERDARE

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· reviews ·

Another new guitar slinger from the Grooveyard stable, George Foster delivers his Divine Soul Ride debut with a sound that takes us deep into Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower territory. Unusually in this genre this man of the six string isn’t the voice behind the mic, that honour ably snapped up by the equally unknown Jarrett Williams, a singer who shows a real understanding of what it takes to propel this heartfelt, but fiery fare to its rightful place. With John Hart handling bass duties, it’s actually the drummer in this blues dripping hard rock outfit that is possibly the best known name in the collective. Gary Ferguson already hugely respected for his work with the likes of Glenn Hughes, Gary Moore, Eddie Money and more. And that steady pair of hands behind the kit doesn’t go to waste, the driving drum force given an authentic, energetic set of songs to bring to life.

Unusually and quite pleasingly for this style, Foster avoids the more expected cover cliches and instead reveals a set of songs that came from his own hands. With the sound of an engine kicking into life the album bursts out of the gates at full pelt, “Dancin’ With The Devil” allowing Foster and Williams to click into place with style and panache. The former lays it down thick and thorough; the authority in this man’s six-string work immediately snagging the attention, while the solo that hypnotises you mid-song is a strong show of intent. Williams matches that enthusiasm, a supremely controlled delivery never shackled by the classy edge that underpins it, instead being allowed to roam free without ever abusing that liberty.

If you’re looking for a groover that burrows in deep, then it’s time to admit “I Did My Time”, while if it’s a more 60s infused haze and shimmer you desire, the Hendrix like “Soul Ride” is where you should be headed. Along the way Ferguson and Hart lock in so tight you’d swear they were joined at the hip, the Aerosmith meets Free of “Hard Times” thriving on being powered by a rhythm section that never feel forced or too full on. One or two surprises along the way wouldn’t go amiss, the feel that Foster is sometimes nodding a little too reverentially at the men who inspire him a little difficult to shake off as the otherwise excellent “Maharishi Says … Yer Ship” stays close to the Hendrix meets Trower basis from which it’s built. But when the results are this convincing it’s hardly a make or break complaint.

Hats off to the Grooveyard, the label seemingly able to unearth a long line of six string talent that can convert their fret skills into exciting albums with enviable ease. The latest is George Foster and doubtless we’ll be hearing much more from him in the times to come.

Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (January 2019)
 


From the first notes of “Dancin’ With The Devil”, the apropos title “Divine Soul Ride” comes into focus, kicking off a one hour soul-powered, heavy blues-based musical road trip. Tracks like “I Did My Time” and “Brand New Dancer” hit hard with grooves that would make the late, great Luther Allison proud, a stylistic tip of the hat to the classic blues roots dripping with soulful swagger that ebb and flow throughout this whole musical ride. “My Cheatin’ Ways”, “Secrets” and “Hard Times” feature wah-infused synchopated backbeat pulses that are infective and toe tappin’ in the extreme, while “Evangeline” leans into an elegant Hendrixian-flavored chord progression with surprise twists and turns. “Shot Down” brings a dirty slide guitar into the fold, smearing through the proceedings with a supercharged Son House vibe that totally kicks ass. “Soul Ride” blasts off with a smokin’ guitar intro flowing into a jackhammer Marino-esque feel that’s unrelenting. “Maharishi Says…” hits like a hyperdrive psychedelic payload delivered in a supersonic overdriven R&B missle that opens up into a Trower-inspired slamjam of the highest order. The closer “The Fields Of Aberdare” swings between the smooth and the rough, punctuated with dissonant chord voicings that tie the whole thing together seamlessly. Whew…what a ride!

George Foster is a master of the hard-rockin’ bluesy pentatonic guitar solo, delivered with squeezes and pinches through a multitude of searing tones that are tastefully embellished with sophisticated melodic flair at just the right moments, elevating the proceedings beyond the expected without overpowering the arrangements. Sprinkling in wah wah and some octavia & univibe in select solo sections for tastful variance and sonic impact, his playing pulls from a broad pallette that expresses itself with color and texture across the entire stylistic spectrum, from the thoughtful whisper to the wide open scream.

Jarrett Williams delivers the storytelling here with soulful clarity and smooth confidence, reminiscent of the stylistic fingerprint of Gary Clark, Jr. but with a bit more range and refinement. With a vocal delivery firmly rooted in the hot-buttered soul end of the vocal spectrum, his vocal work soars and dives, bonding with the rockin’ bluesy arrangements and fitting these tunes like a chameleonic second skin.

The open grooves and easy tightness of John Hart (bass) and session master Gary Ferguson (drums) show what playing for the songs is all about, and this journeyman rhythm section is adept at both laying back with restrained power and letting loose in controlled detonations that succeed in shaping the broader musical template without distorting or disrupting it. Killer.

There’s an ease to these tracks that belie the work that went into them. Excellent musicianship, solid songwriting and a deeply emotive human synergy all find proportional balance and harmony on “Divine Soul Ride”, and this vibe comes through loudly and clearly on every track. Mr. Foster & company have crafted a wonderful and supremely listenable piece of musical art. This is top-shelf “roadrunner” music, a soundtrack to inspire and satisfy whether hitting the road across town, across the country or sitting at home. Pop it in, crank it up and hit the gas!

Jimmy Ryan / Guitar Rock Appreciation Society (February 2019)
 


"Divine Soul Ride" is the debut album of American guitarist and songwriter George Foster . As can be seen from his scarce biography, the musician plays locally in the Los Angeles area, with RECKLESS and does frequent studio work & teaches music. He is also the guitarist with Tia Carrere in the movie Wayne's World. The drummer Gary Ferguson's business card includes Gary Moore, Charlie Sexton, Chris Spedding, John Hiatt, Glenn Hughes & Les Dudek. The quartet completes with singer Jarrett Williams and John Hart on bass. In late 2018 the disc was released on Grooveyard Records. Recorded at Akadak Studios, Burbank & Dave Osti worked in the Dirtshack Studio for mixing and mastering. Although here and there the sounds of a Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi Hendrix shimmer through, all songs have been written by Foster or together with Jarrett Williams and Viki Tama.

George Foster has a congenial partner in his band in singer Jarrett Williams. Although the altogether eleven songs have nothing to do with the genre soul, one may be happy about the compositional power of the tracks. The frontman has a considerable repertoire of skill on his equipment and with a certain retro-look the listener can love, because it's retro but not old fashioned. Rather, you cannot deny the disc a contemporary paint. Then the motorcycle lights for "Dancin 'With The Devil" in the right channel and douse over the middle in the left speaker of it. Okay, a song intro that's pretty tidy but works well with the following Blues Rock. Since the quartet knows no mercy, you are right on the fast lane of the highway. Who dances with the devil, may feel once the heat of hell. Accordingly, the number goes off. George Foster gives a first assessment of his qualities on the guitar and particularly noteworthy are - in addition to his solo journey - the fine nuances within almost four and a half minutes. Class!

As a tranquilizer, we finally land at "Evangeline". In this power-ballad with some dynamic highs, the guitarist pushes his feelings like a screw thread into areas where the air gets thinner. The singer fully convinces with his emotional singing. The conclusion of the song is covered with a slight Jimi Hendrix -Patina. Highlight!

Embedded in slow blues at the end of the CD, another great track comes along. Not only on "The Fields Of Aberdare" George Foster shows that he also masters the slightly larger sounds of the genre. Class graduation! It's really funky in "Brand New Dancer". If you want to swing your leg, choose "I Did My Time". The hyperactive "Maharishi Says ... Yer Ship" ends in a longer, almost overtopping guitar happening à la Jimi Hendrix .

George Foster has a lot to offer on his debut "Divine Soul Ride" and competently brings his music to the people. Listening is the order of the day and everyone has to decide for themselves.

Joachim 'Joe' Brookes / RockTimes-Germany (January 2019)
 


Listening to the debut outing, 'Divine Soul Ride', by guitarist George Foster is like experiencing a time when you could hear the likes of Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, ZZ Top, Sly & The Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Chicago on the radio. There is a full range of Blues based soul movers on this recording that could cater to many different audiences. Along with the smoking hot six string fretboard work of George Foster, you have the soulful vocals of Jarrett Williams and the rock solid rhythm section of bassist John Hart and drummer Gary Ferguson. Together this group has put together something truly special. George Foster has a lot of talent and is musically unafraid to take on any style and willing to be a completely relevant artist today without having to compromise his craft like so many others. I like that most of all. You can feel that diversity in his playing on tracks like "Dancing With The Devil", "My Cheatin' Ways", the slow bluesy swagger of "Evangeline", the adrenaline pumping grooves of "Secrets" and "Hard Times". But the track that won me over hook line and sinker is the closing "The Fields Of Aberdare", clocking in at a bit over seven minutes, George Foster's guitar work left me comfortably numb. Real blues rock guitar played from the heart and soul, what a joyful musical experience it is.

Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society (January 2019)
 


There’s a spiritual element to this disc — and so it is a “Divine Soul Ride,” as per its title, but don’t let that fool you. It’s also kick-‘em-in-the-face hard blues-rock, raunchy as all get out. This all-original set is powered by George Foster, guitarist extraordinaire, and brought the rest of the way by his perfect complements: Jarrett Williams (vocals), John Hart (bass), and Gary Ferguson (drums). Together, this band is reminiscent of the power trios of the 60s and 70s, with obvious nods to Hendrix, Trower, Marino, and so on. In an era when music rarely lives up to its promise, George Foster and his compadres deliver big time, with taste, power, and fury. This is a virtuoso joy ride that is a must have for fans of guitar-oriented blues-rock.

Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (December 2018)
 


This is a great CD for all of us who enjoy a lot of guitar rippin' a la Trower, Marino, Randy Hansen & Hendrix! All of the songs have that classic vintage 70s hard rock vibe with some serious soloing from Foster. He lights up the fretboard with blistering licks all over this recording. Another plus is the great soulful voice of Jarrett Williams that fits the heavy funky soul powered rock on display. If you love classic guitar rock by any of the artists I mentioned above with great vocals and a lot of smokin' guitar work - check this out - it'll bring you back to a time when rock ruled.. thanks again to Grooveyard for keeping this style of rock alive.

Steve Albanese / Rockinbluez Society (December 2018)
 


There was another heavy hitter named George Foster on the Cincinnate Reds Big Red Machine back in the 70’s. This George Foster swings big axe instead of a bat. He has some Hendrix influences which I always love. This is not just shred fest as the songs are top shelf. Now most super guitar players in the blues rock world also do the singing on their albums. George instead has a singer. And I mean a SINGER! Jarrett Williams. Jarrett is George’s equal on vocals to his guitar work. Very soulful and at same time powerful! These two make a dynamic duo to borrow a phrase. Can’t say enough about this album. I do believe it is his first. The Grooveyard Records label has made another great find in the genre of heavy bluesy guitar rock music. As they say, they are Keeping the Rock alive. Boy are they ever! George Foster and Jarrett Williams are just one of many amazing guitar based artists at Grooveyard Records. This cd is for sure in my top ten of 2018.

Gary Milligan / Amazon Review (December 2018)
 


Divine Soul Ride is the first album from Los Angeles based George Foster, a fella who's diet is very much hard rockin’ blues. To begin at the very end, closing track “The Fields Of Aberdare” is a widescreen epic founded on an interesting, twisting riff. It builds patiently, draping the vocals of Jarrett Williams in a touch of reverb as he tells a tale of a wanderer who can never go back home, with guitar licks nicely counterpointed against the riff, and some enjoyable shifts in tone. At the other end of the album, they kick off with straight ahead blues-infused hard rock, on “Dancin’ With The Devil” and “I Did My Time”, the former featuring a 21st Century rollin’ an’ tumblin’ type riff, and the latter a catchy chorus. “My Cheatin’ Ways” underlines Foster’s handy way with a complex, ducking and diving riff. What then becomes apparent in the middle of the album is that Foster is an aficionado of Hendrix’s combination of funky, choppy riffs and wah-wah inflected soloing, and with some neat bass lines from John Hart thrown into the mix they make a good job of capturing those essential Jimi components. When they add in some light and shade, as on “Evangeline” and “Secrets”, or a typically strong riff such as the ascending figure on “Hard Times”, the results can be pretty satisfying. Divine Soul Ride is a well-assembled, likeable collection of blues-rock, strong on clever riffsand with some good hooks. It should also be said that the sound is excellent, unfussy and well balanced. As debut albums go, it’s a decent marker.

Blues Rock Review (January 2019)
 



 


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