It’s a chilly day in Portland, Oregon, and Jonathan Foster is taking part of the day for himself.
The California-based singer-songwriter set off for his 42-date fall tour, which is taking him from California to Key West, Florida, and then back.
“I travel solo because I do acoustic shows,” he says. “It’s also easier because it’s just me on tour. There’s a need for music to be back in everybody’s life. I’m doing it safely.”
Foster will arrive in New Mexico for a show at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, at Corrales Bistro Brewery.
He spent the better part of a year working on his new album, “Lantern Shade.”
It’s his fifth full-length independent studio effort, and he says it is packed with musical residuals from the past year of reflective moments during uncertain days.
Foster brings this 10-song long player to life with vocal conviction, imaginative lyrics, driven guitars and rootsy sounds inspired from time in the Cascade Mountains to memories of his hometown Cranberry Lake, New York. The album steers toward the rock side of modern folk music with some big help from Bruce Turgon on bass guitar and Joe Misztal on drums.
“Lantern Shade” comes out of the gate with the catchy single “Stardust Saltwater” and weaves between the heavy “The Beast,” “Into The Black,” “The Ship” and fun “When It Gets Dark,” “Alpine Line,” “Shady Grove,” “Ani Bird” to dedicated celebrations “May Our Paths Cross Again” and “Where We Belong.”
“I went into the studio with 30 songs,” he says. “Most of the songs were written out in the woods. Because tours were canceled and travel wasn’t happening, I did a lot of hiking and fishing, as well as a ton of writing.”
Foster says that for the first time in his career, the whole album came together in months.
With the music done, he wanted to head out on tour and got some help with mapping it out.
“I’m used to doing everything myself,” he says. “It’s been a big step up for me. I’ll have 120 dates this year, and I’m working full time again in music. It’s a good space to be in, and I still roll with the punches. It’s been fun to reconnect with the good folks coming out to the shows.”