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. Ruthie’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride. She 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. Ruthie's list of achievements includes Best Folk Artist in 2004-05 and Best Female Vocalist in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 from the Austin Music Awards, a 2009 and 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and four Blues Music Association awards for both Best Traditional and Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist.
When Grammy Award-winning producer John Chelew suggested she record an album in New Orleans — with support handpicked from the Crescent City’s overflowing pool of talent — it was an opportunity for Ruthie to infuse fresh spices into her already rich sonic gumbo. The result is Let It Burn, a recording that smolders, sizzles and ignites with an intensity born from her vibrant voice and indelible presence. Let it Burn guest features Blind Boys of Alabama, William Bell, The Funky Meters, Dave Easley, James Rivers, and Ike Stubblefield. The record, which was released January 31, 2012, has debuted on three Billboard charts: #2 on the Blues chart, #6 on Heatseekers, and #175 on the Top 200 Albums, and was also nominated for a Grammy award.
On Let It Burn, Ruthie Foster 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. This is the album her fans have been waiting for — and that the rest of the world will listen to in wonder.
Photo: John Carrico