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David Gilbert Foster Emerges with Album 'AMERICAN DREAM'

David Gilbert Foster Emerges with Album 'AMERICAN DREAM'

AMERICAN DREAM by David Gilbert Foster is available on most digital music platforms.

David Gilbert Foster has spent most of his life underground. Literally.

An avid cave explorer, Foster is the founder of the American Cave Museum in Horse Cave, Kentucky, and manages the adjoining Hidden River Cave, which attracts thousands of tourists annually. Like many struggling musicians, the responsibilities of his day job prevented him from pursuing his avocation as seriously as he would have liked.

While in his 20s, Foster had a progressive bluegrass band called Soulgrass, which broke up after going through several incarnations over seven years. In his spare time, he has since performed and recorded with other artists, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee, while writing scores of original songs. Now he is sharing nine of his favorites on an ambitious new album, AMERICAN DREAM.

"The album is largely my personal journey through this rapidly evolving time scape," he said. "It chronicles my personal struggles with love, happiness, and the everyday problems of survival, including the recent pandemic. It's the struggle we all face during our all too brief lifetimes. Putting this album out after all these years, takes me back full circle to my dream of writing and performing songs before the world burdened me with obligations and challenges."

Each song on AMERICAN DREAM touches on a different aspect or experience of Foster's life, with the title track being an all-encompassing examination of many issues from his childhood to the present. At six and a half minutes long, the song was inspired by Foster's love for Don McLean's epic "American Pie," though he says it differs substantially in its political and personal motivations.

"My song 'American Dream' weaves together a variety of themes ranging from the loss of the small-town American way of life and the innocence of youth to the risks of technological developments to humanity," he said. "The story line tries to stay somewhat politically ambiguous, observing and asking questions about historic events, rather than ascribing to a particular view."

That is not to say that Foster is averse to expressing his social views through music. "We Are One" is an anti-racism song, which morphed into a song celebrating essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Rattlesnake" was written specifically about the pandemic.

"The rattlesnake in the song is a metaphor for all of the things that threaten our shared humanity," Foster explained. "It came to me in a dream one night and I made myself wake up and write it down, so I'd remember it the next day."

"Knight In Shining Armor," which Foster wrote during a Darrell Scott songwriting workshop in Nashville, deals with dependency and addiction.

A geologist by education, Foster is grounded in science, while acknowledging there are mysterious occurrences in life that cannot be explained. Such was the inspiration behind his song "Black Cat."

"The world is ruled by a mix of science and superstition," he said. "A black cat climbed on my roof and entered my window shortly before the pandemic and mysteriously disappeared shortly after. I came to regard him as my guardian angel. In the song, I commemorated the connection with this animal spirit with one of my more soulful horn arrangements."

Other songs on the album deal with such themes as falling in love ("Jackhammer"), recovering from a relationship fight ("Beautiful Rain"), stress ("Insomnia"), and the quest for achieving one's goals ("When Am I Ever Gonna Get A Break.")

AMERICAN DREAM is Foster's second album but seems like a debut. His first one, NYLON HIGHWAY, was a concept album inspired by his love of caves and cave exploration. However, pressed just 1,000 copies, which he sold at caving events. At age 21 and with little experience in the music business, Foster decided to go back to college and pursue a more traditional career path. His Foster's new album is the fulfillment of his own, literal "American Dream."

Joining Foster on the album are several established artists including Jeff Taylor (accordion), Webb Hendrix (drums), Debra Lyn (backup vocals), acclaimed arranger Chris Carmichael, and more. For Foster, the icing on the cake was when John Cowan, lead singer of New Grass Revival and the Doobie Brothers' current bassist, agreed to play bass and provide backup vocals on three songs, including the title track.

"John has long been one of my favorite musicians," Foster said. "I met him twenty years ago when my former progressive bluegrass band opened for him. I ran into him at AMERICANAFEST in 2018 and asked if he wanted to work on my project. It's a real honor to have him on the record."

Listen to the new album here:

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