Ruthie Foster is a rising star in the musical universe of the blues. Her latest album, Let It Burn, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Blues Album in 2012, and her previous album, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2010. She won the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year last year, and she’s nominated again this year. So, yes, she’s a blues powerhouse, but her music really goes beyond the blues to embrace gospel and soul, rock and folk. A recent cover story in Keyboard Player Magazine calls her “a singer from the old school, whose huge, full-bodied voice has drawn frequent comparisons with such legends as Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald.” In the words of the Austin Chronicle, her “deeply soulful vocals dip into gospel and swing toward contemporary folk with R&B panache. When she sings a capella, the heavens part.”
Ruthie grew up in rural Texas singing in her church choir, served a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy band, and ended up in New York City with a major-label development deal that unexpectedly went sour. After taking a break from her professional career and returning to Texas to care for her ailing mother, she began performing again and won Austin Music Awards for Best Folk Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Let It Burn is her eighth album, and it features the Blind Boys of Alabama, the rhythm section of the Funky Meters, and soul icon William Bell. Tonight she’ll perform solo, giving fans old and new a chance to hear her breathtaking music in its purest form.
Photo by John Carrico
at Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison St
Berkeley, United States