American singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault performs the songs from his fantastic 2006 album ‘Ghost Repeater’

Photo: Screenshot – Jeffrey Foucault and singer/songwriter Kris Delmhorst 

10 January 2023 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News

Ghost Repeater (2006)

All of the drunks
Dressed up like Santa Claus
Ring Salvation Army bells
But the town square is quiet
The juke joints are empty
Everyone’s buying
What no one can sell

And the girl I loved once
Came to me last night
In a dream with a secret to tell
She whispered close
Can’t you hear the ocean?
As she leaned her ear
Against a shotgun shell

Chorus:
Dark was the night
Cold was the ground
I could barely make out the song
Of the Ghost Repeaters
Singing Hallelujah
His truth is marching on

Willie Mae’s crying
At the toll booth to heaven
With a bottle of gin
And a gold-toothed smile
Where the dreams pile up
All washed out and broken
As thick as the stars
On the Miracle Mile

But the movie is over
The theater is empty
The credits are starting to roll
The wages of sin
Don’t adjust for inflation
It’s a buyer’s market
When you sell your soul

Chorus
The plaza is dark
The picadors are dreaming
Of blood in the alleys
And rust on the vines
They sandbag the bulls
And prop up the matadors
It’s a sweetheart contract
They’re taking their time

And all the ghost prisoners
Who aren’t in the ghost prisons
Don’t weep at the sound
Of your name
They just stare up at the clouds
Of passenger pigeons
Winging back home
To the cities of the plain

Chorus

The star up above
The 5th Avenue Christmas tree
Is shining tonight
Through the cold and the rain
To light all the faces
In the live nativity
Down on the floor
Of the stock exchange

Dark is the night
Cold is the ground
The armies march out to defend
And the Ghost Repeaters
Of the revelators
Are singing “Peace on Earth
And Good Will to all Men”

See more album lyrics here

Holed up in Iowa City for the coldest week of the year, Jeffrey Foucault partnered with legendary blues guitar player and producer Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams) to create GHOST REPEATER, a country and blues album exploring the hopefulness of new love and the seasickness of contemporary American life.

Ghost Repeaters are empty radio stations scattered around the country to re-broadcast demographically tailored playlists, endless echoes of American market culture, from thousands of miles away.

Epidemic sameness, big-box stores, and the retail news cycle of ghost prisoners and God on Our Side create the context in which GHOST REPEATER unfolds a story of love and uncertainty.

Written over the course of the year in which Foucault married, GHOST REPEATER juxtaposes a personal narrative of hope and joy against the wider story of the times in a series of travelogues and dream-scapes.

The words bloom, fade, truth, mercy, dream, and memory recur through the album to create a sort of grammar, a palette of colors that Foucault and Ramsey merge with dark washes of electric guitar and vocals hushed or plaintive, in a visionary portrait of modern Americana.

GHOST REPEATER features full band arrangements but hews close to the line of Foucault’s previous albums, with darkly intimate songs and rich language, framed this time around by Bo Ramsey’s signature electric guitar work in a series of country rockers and dark blues.

It was a natural progression for Foucault – whose first two records explored the landscape and characters of his native Midwest in spare and largely acoustic terms – to broaden the focus of the music and the subject matter by incorporating a rhythm section and training his sights on not only the intimate but the wider world, both the personal and the profound.

Album Tracks

1.  Ghost Repeater
2. Americans in Corduroys
3. I Dream An Old Lover
4. One for Sorrow
5. Train to Jackson
6. One Part Love
7. Wild Waste & Welter
8. City Flower
9. Tall Grass In Old Virginny
10. Mesa, Arizona
11. Appolline

Joined by Rick ‘Rico’ Cicalo and Steve Hayes (Greg Brown) on rhythm, along with special guest appearances by Iowa’s Dave Moore on harp and accordion, Eric Heywood (Son Volt) on pedal steel, and Kris Delmhorst on backing vocals, with GHOST REPEATER Foucault lays out the particulars of love in a country contending with its own ghost.

In songs of love and empire, dream and memory, he delivers the honesty of country, the desperation of blues, and the simplicity of folk to achieve a document that’s timeless and poignant.

Visit and buy Jeffrey Foucault