Josh Foster went off to school and never came back, except when he’s on the bandstand.
The North Tahoe High School and Humboldt State University alumnus performed Friday, Sept. 1, at the Divided Sky with the Arcata band Diggin Dirt.
The eight-piece funk band plays mostly originals, But when you pick up the pieces from a set list James Brown, Kook and the Gang and the Average White Band might be found.
A trombonist, Foster joined the band in August 2017, along with baritone saxophonist Tyler Martin.
Foster graduated from Humboldt State in 2014 with a music degree in trombone performance. He can’t leave now because he’s in four bands. He also plays bass.
“(Humboldt) is like a bigger version of Tahoe,” he said. “There is more to do here. I like the vibe of the place. People are friendly and pretty laid back and there’s a pretty good music scene that seems to be growing.”
Foster is the son of Tahoe Onstage photographer Clare Foster, a jam-band aficionado. It took a while for the youngster to appreciate the Grateful Dead.
“At first, I didn’t like them because my parents did, but then I realized, ‘Oh, wow, this is really cool.’ Then I got into Phish, and now I like TAUK, which combines jam and funk.”
Foster formerly played with Liquid Kactus, which played South Shore at Live at Lakeview, Rojo’s and Heavenly Village.
He said there are plans for Diggin Dirt to go beyond the Redwood Curtain about once a month. Last April, the band had a two-week tour that extended from Portland to San Diego.
Along with Foster and Martin, Diggin Dirt includes singer Zach Alder, guitarists Rory Urquhart and Drew Weitzel, bassist John Callahan, drummer Joey Incorvaia and tenor saxophonist Aaron Gottesman.