Texas Essentials: Radney Foster, Musician

by Leean Vargas on February 3, 2020 in Entertainment, Music,
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As a young bright-eyed musician straight out of Del Rio, Texas, Radney Foster quickly made a name for himself when he began his solo career in 1992. 

As an American country music singer-songwriter, author and music producer, Foster has eight No. 1 hit singles under his belt, including his own “Nobody Wins,” and “Crazy Over You,” and countless cuts by artists ranging from country stars like Keith Urban to contemporary artists like Marc Broussard

Yet, not only is the Texas native an accomplished musician, he is a talented storyteller. Foster’s most recent project, For You To See The Stars, is a dynamic CD and book pairing, inspired by his upbringing in Del Rio, which sits on the Texas-Mexico border.

It’s evident that the great state of Texas has always been an inspiration for Foster’s music. He spends most of the year touring the Lone Star State. And he loves it. For him, it’s always enjoyable to watch the band improvise and have fun. When it comes to performing, Foster never gets tired of watching the joy he brings the audience. As he says: “Some artists will complain of “‘having’” to play songs that were hits a long time ago. I never get tired of them.“ Foster’s message to fans: “Be kind to one another.”

Radney Foster grew up on the Mexican border in Del Rio, TX. By age 12, he began playing the guitar and by 14 he’d begun writing songs. Since the start of his career, Foster has written eight No. 1 hit singles. Photo Cyndi Hoelzle

An average day on tour for Foster begins with eating a quick gluten-free breakfast and working out. One of his must-have snacks are Bobo’s bars because they’re packed with protein and not too sweet. He spends the morning answering emails and driving to the next venue. To pass the hours on the road, he loves listening to Texas/American music and says his kids are always turning him on to something new. 

He also listens to a lot of podcasts. “99% Invisible is one of my favorites, and I’ve been listening to Scriptnotes a lot since I’m working on a screenplay.” By the afternoon, Foster’s checking into hotels, doing interviews, and taking a quick cat nap. The evening starts with soundcheck, dinner, and meet and greets for those eager fans. By 8pm he’s ready to play. After the performance, he signs autographs and gets ready to rinse and repeat.

Off stage, this busy musician loves fly-fishing, tying flies, cooking and writing fiction. He’s only home two to three days a week, so spending time with his family is a must. 

We wanted to know what this multi-talented musician and author never leaves home without — also known as his Texas Essentials or, shall we say, Tour Essentials!

Radney Foster spends most of the year touring Texas; he makes sure he never leaves without his essentials.
Photo Cyndi Hoelzle

Guitar and Pedalboard

Of course I have to have my guitar and pedalboard!

A copy of my book

I always keep a work copy of my book, For You To See The Stars, with me.

Pens and Blackwing pencils 

I love Blackwing pencils for writing. I also have pens on deck for signing books and autographs. 

Grether’s Pastilles

They help reduce stress on my voice when I’m talking after a show.


To keep my glasses up onstage—even if I’m playing Gruene Hall in 100 degree heat!

A Book 

I always have a book to read.

My father’s New Testament

He passed away several years ago, and his copy has his notes written in the margins.

Cover photo Cyndi Hoelzle

Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.