Keep The Good Ones Close

by Mission Spotlight

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The songs on Keep The Good Ones Close are steeped in classic, honest country, but they sound like today.

These are straightforward, matter-of-fact tales of learning to live in the space between love and loss, and finding out that the only way to navigate that space is by learning who to trust.

The album opens with a moment of realization: “It’s time to leave” on a classic country duet with lead singer Kurt Foster and guest vocalist Sue Weaver (Little Sue) trading verses. Their distinctive voices and the sounds of heartbreak give way to the uplifting trumpets that open Dear James, a tale of lessons learned and well-worn advice that gives the album its title line: “Keep the good ones close, let the evil pass you by.”

These melodies have a warm and comforting feel. Anyone who’s been deserted or lived in fear of being left will be drawn in and find something to relate to in the music. These are songs that sink in and take on new meaning over repeated listens.

The album closes on both its saddest and most hopeful song, a demo recorded by Foster on his iPhone in a cabin on Mt. Hood. “Am I supposed to want to cry?” he asks at the beginning, before bringing the song back to the theme and title of the album—keep good people close to you and you’ll make it through whatever life throws at you.

Keep The Good Ones Close is the natural progression of the work Mission Spotlight began with its 2012 EP, Everything That Floats, which Willamette Week called “a modern soundtrack suited for the American West” and The Portland Mercury referred to as “a steadier, less impressionistic—but no less heartfelt—cousin to Richmond Fontaine's literary version of Pacific Northwest country.”

Recording this new album took time. A first effort at recording the songs simply didn’t work. And the band floundered, losing a member and wondering if they could recapture the beauty of that first EP.

Many bands don’t make it through this space. But the addition of a new drummer and a return to Jackpot! Studios with friend and producer Larry Crane energized the group, helping them approach old songs differently and leading to a run of new songs that would make Keep The Good Ones Close the next step they were looking for.

You can expect new favorites to reveal themselves with each listen to this album. Put on some headphones and enjoy.


released July 7, 2015

Kurt Foster - Vocals
Fasil Debeb - Guitar
Jeremy Dietz - Bass
Danny Faccinetti - Drums
Ryan Lynn - Pedal Steel

Special guests:
Paul Brainard - Trumpet
Jenny Conlee - Organ, Accordion, Piano
Evan Railton - Drums on "What It Takes"
Little Sue - Vocals

Recorded at Jackpot! Studios in Portland, Oregon by Larry Crane

Photography by Danger Ehren
Graphic Design by the Draplin Design Co.



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


Mission Spotlight Portland, Oregon

Mission Spotlight writes music about the modern American West. Inspired by the records of George Jones and the Byrds playing on their parents' turntables, and influenced by the alt-country sounds of Whiskeytown, Daniel Romano and early Wilco, Mission Spotlight creates songs whose appeal spans generations. This is music for campfires and rainy Sunday mornings. ... more

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