Soulful diva Ruthie Foster’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride!
“Fosters voice is simply drop-dead gorgeous, and her ability to wrap it around any musical genre – blues, jazz, folk, funk, soul – she chooses just makes it that much more spell-binding.”
“The power of Ruthie Foster’s voice carries the music, rather than vice versa. It is a voice that was raised in the church that has the power of that true soul singing that comes right out of the tradition that bred such voices as Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and James Brown.” Dirty Linen
“I love Ruthie Foster. That’s my little sister. A phenomenal woman, yes indeed.” Mavis Staples
“Music this moving doesn’t come around often these days…” – Sonic Boomers
Gaynor Crawford Presents is delighted to announce that the soulful Grammy nominated musician Ruthie Foster and her band will be powering onto Australian stages in March 2013. Her latest album “Let it Burn” is “a captivating blend of soul, blues, gospel, New Orleans funk, folk, rock and R B” – according to the Los Angeles Times – and the Recording Academy members agree, nominating “Let It Burn” for a Grammy for Best Blues Album. Awards will be handed out at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 10.
Ruthie came from humble church choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, and ended up in New York City with a major-label development deal
that went sour. After she moved back to Texas to care for her ailing mother, Foster took a break from singing professionally for a couple of years. When she resumed her music career in Austin, she became a regular nominee at the Austin Music Awards, winning Best Folk Artist in 2004-05 and Best Female Vocalist in 2007-08. Broadening her sound by blending blues and soul aspects into her folk roots, Ruthie added a Grammy nomination to her list of achievements (Best Contemporary Blues Album for her last studio release, 2009’s The Truth According to Ruthie Foster). And, in a nod to her astounding range, she then won seemingly contradictory Blues Music Association awards for both Best Traditional and Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist in back-to-back years.
On Let It Burn, Ruthie Foster’s latest release, she takes the listener on her most personal journey yet, sounding like she is pouring her heart out late at night, and her deeply soulful vocals create a spiritual soundscape to support her testimony. A recording that smolders, sizzles and ignites with an intensity born from her vibrant voice and indelible presence. The results are powerful, defining performances of Adele’s anthemic “Set Fire to the Rain,”
John Martyn’s poignant and sensual “Don’t Want to Know,” and Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” all of which take on new vibrancy with distinctive musical arrangements and Ruthie’s commanding presence. The achingly beautiful, atmospheric ballad version of “Ring of Fire” is at the heart of this album, and potently showcases Foster as one of the finest interpretive singers of our time. “When it comes to songs, often older ones, I love it when they find me and that’s what happened with ‘Ring of Fire.’ I put myself inside of that song, which speaks to the passion of a new relationship,” she says. Ruthie mines other tunes from a variety of sources such as the Black Keys (“Everlasting Light,” given a sparkling and righteous treatment), Pete Seeger (a dynamic, ominous swamp/jazz reimagining of “If I Had a Hammer”) and Los Lobos (the rambling, haunting “This Time”). The church is never far from anything Foster touches as her spiritual original “Lord Remember Me” with the Blind Boys, featuring a sanctified slide solo from guitarist Easley, makes clear. The album’s opening and closing tracks also spotlight the Blind Boys and bookend the project with a devotional approach. “I haven’t lost my gospel in the way I approach a song,” explains Ruthie.
Another new Foster song is “Aim for the Heart” (a co-write with Jon & Sally Tiven), which works Porter’s funky bass, Stubblefield’s expressive organ and Easley’s snake-like guitar into
a groove which supports the deeply personal motto (“Aim for the heart/And you’ll never go wrong”) that Foster has exhibited in both her life and music. Rounding out this smoldering collection of tunes are covers of The Band’s melancholic “It Makes No Difference,” David Crosby’s politically charged “Long Time Gone” and William Bell’s classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (with Bell dueting on a slow, jazz/blues version of the standard, augmented by a stunning Rivers solo), all of which further display Ruthie’s uncanny knack for finding the simmering essence of any song.
Those who have followed Ruthie Foster’s eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel.
See Ruthie Foster and her family band March 2013