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Reed Foehl delivers the soul of music

Foehl plays the Walnut Room

On Friday, April 5, the soul of music hid in the crowded backroom venue of the Walnut Room on Denver’s north side as people waited to hear Reed Foehl perform. 

Foehl, as his website puts it, “touches on a range of Americana styles, all with emotionally charged lyrics… from somber folk elegies and gospel-tinged tunes to barroom country singalongs.”

The venue at the Walnut Room is small and intimate, with people all standing together before the stage, or crowding around the bar at the back. The concert (if such a small gathering of music-lovers might be called such) began with an opening performance by Megan Burtt, a Colorado native with folk and Americana roots similar to Foehl himself. Burtt has released multiple albums and performs both within the United States and internationally. She sang softly of loves present and long past, of freedom, and of life in America, themes that Foehl also incorporates into his music.

Foehl Brings some down home soul to the Walnut Room. Photo: Marianna Caicedo · The Sentry

When Foehl took over the stage, backed by the Band of the Heathens, the soul of music came to life in the room and overtook each and every member of the crowd—especially the drunk guy dancing in front of the stage; he was really feelin’ it.

Foehl sang a variety of songs, many of which came from his most recent album, Lucky Enough. He wrote these songs while caring for his mother with cancer, and so many have a somber tone but with a little sparkle of hope. One example of such a song, which he sang at the Walnut Room, was “If It Rains.” Within the song are the lyrics, “If it rains, the dark clouds will settle / And if it rains, the wheat crop will grow,” and, “We are heartbroken, but lucky enough.” This is the heart of all of Foehl’s music—that though life may be full of darkness, it isn’t all bad.

Between songs, Foehl interacted with the crowd, joked with the band, and generally displayed the easygoing but soulful spirit that seems to be present in most country/Americana musicians. 

The crowd, a heavy mix of the young, middle-aged, and old, at times sang along to the songs, danced, or swayed to the music with eyes closed, not unlike worshippers at a religious ceremony. 

True to his Americana roots, Foehl also performed the song “American Miles,” a tonal cross between Mumford & Sons and Gregory Alan Isakov but with lyrics reminiscent of road trips across America. The song makes one think of highways already traveled and all those yet to come, as with the lyrics, “In a fast-fading Autumn / With the last of the leaves,” and, “Haunted by the skyline / Blinded by the sunshine.” In fact, Isakov helped Foehl write the song, and the two have performed multiple shows together around the country. 

Though the concert at the Walnut Room was small, it was not devoid of heart or emotion. Foehl ended his performance by thanking deeply all those who came out to see him.

Fans and the uninitiated alike can find Reed Foehl’s music on all major music platforms. He has confirmed no further Denver concert dates.

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