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Review: Foster and Lloyd, It’s Already Tomorrow

Foster and Lloyd
It’s Already Tomorrow
[Effin Ell (2011)]

With their Everly Brothers-like harmonies giving voice to intelligent lyrics and hook-laden country-pop melodies, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd joined with Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, and Joe Ely to apply a new edge to the country music of the late-1980s. The first duo in country music to score a chart topping hit with their debut single (“Crazy Over You”), in 1987; their early songs were covered by the Sweethearts of The Rodeo and country music superstar Ricky Shelton. That initial reign of glory, though, was extremely short-lived. By 1990, they had gone their separate ways. Foster continued to perform as a neo-trad country music artist, and Lloyd worked as a power-pop session guitarist and harmony singer, but neither reached the artistic heights of their combined past.

With the release of It’s Already Tomorrow, their first album since 1990’s Version Of The Truth, the duo not only resumes Foster and Lloyd’s partnership, but, with its’ more-dynamic, rock-influenced sound, injects a new depth into their music. Bassist Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) and Foster’s longtime drummer Keith Brogdon lay down a solid country-rock rhythm, while Foster and Lloyd inspire each other to new heights. Their songs radiate with charm, warmth, and harmony, Foster’s nasal twang blending symmetrically with Lloyd’s high tenor. Guests include 73-year-old pedal steel wiz Lloyd Green (“You Can’t Make Love Make Sense”), Emmylou Harris’ steel guitarist Steve Fishell (“Don’t Throw It Away”), vocalist Beth Nielsen Chapman (“Lucky Number”), and E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent (who plays nylon string bass on the acoustic tune “When I Finally Let You Go”). Sam Bush is featured on “Picasso’s Mandolin,” written by Foster, Lloyd, and Guy Clark, and originally debuting on Clark’s 1992 album, Boats To Build.

—Craig Harris (Chicopee, MA)


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