Thursday, May 14, 2009

Creepy Crawlies: Mayfly

Jeffrey Foucault: Mayfly


Jeffrey Foucault's rough and raspy voice and sparse folkblues style ring evocatively of prairiedust and hard roads; his lyrics and tone tend towards the dark and introspective. His tender treatment of other people's songs in this vein has made him a constant presence over at Cover Lay Down, both solo and as a member of folk collaborative Redbird, and it would not be hyperbole to say that he may well be my favorite male singer-songwriter of his generation.

But despite his penchant for Townesian melancholy in his songcraft, in person, Foucault is wry and self-effacing, a shy, grinning, easygoing country boy with a guitar in his hands. Nowhere does this lighter side come out more clearly than on Mayfly, which Foucault wrote by accident while trying to figure out the guitar part to Freight Train. The metaphor of the short-lived mayfly -- a year in waterbound larval state, a day of adulthood before death -- carries plenty of baggage, but Foucault manages to transcend the weight; the upbeat simplicity of the tune and lyrics treat the subject delicately, perfectly capturing the fleeting beauty of life.

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