Radney Foster on Thu, October 20, 2016

“I’m always trying to find a little piece of the truth,” says Texas singer-songwriter Radney Foster. With Everything I Should Have Said, the truth is laid bare. His first collection of new songs in 5 years opens with “Whose Heart You Wreck,” a stormy lament to a fickle muse and closes with the title track, an unflinching apology for things done and left undone.

In between, Foster uncovers the smaller truths in life, whether in the confessional “The Man You Want,” the frustration behind “Lie About Loving Me” or the playful frankness of “Unh, Unh, Unh.”

“My challenge is, how do you have another take on a love song? How do you keep it interesting?” For Foster, it meant leaving Nashville behind, and bringing a suitcase full of songs and like-minded musical friends to Louisiana.

“I wanted the album to have a band feel, and to do that I knew we needed to get away from schedules and cell phones.” They landed at Dockside Studios, a little pocket of soul alongside the Louisiana bayou. The space is the site of a long-forgotten brothel, and far from the sterile studios of Nashville.

“When you’re sitting with the moss is hanging from the trees and the bayou rolling by, you can’t help but have your songs slow down and get swampier.”

Considered an elder statesman of Texas singer-songwriters, Foster has been a friend and mentor to many younger artists on the Texas scene. He’s written and produced songs for Randy Rogers, Jack Ingram, Kacey Musgraves, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott, Pat Green, Cory Morrow and many others. His songs are regularly mined by superstar acts like Keith Urban (“Raining on Sunday,” “I’m In,”), Sara Evans (“Real Fine Place,” “Revival”) and the Dixie Chicks (“Godspeed”).

Throughout his 30 year career, Foster has continuously stretched the boundaries. “I strive to challenge myself as a writer, a musician and a singer everyday.” As his voice has deepened and grown richer, so, it seems, has his focus. These are the songs of a full-grown man, who long ago left fear by the side of the road.