There’s something overwhelmingly pure and powerful about watching Ruthie Foster play her guitar and belt it all out—blues, folk, R&B and all musics in between.
The Texan-born Foster is an award-winning player and singer: Her Let It Burn earned a nomination in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category in last year’s Grammy Awards, and her latest set, Promise Of A Brand New Day, just won France’s 2014’s Grand Prix du Disque in the blues as well. There’s lots more attached to her distinguished resume—boatloads of Austin Music Awards from her time there in the past few years, similar kudos from the Living Blues Music Awards—but at the end of the day: Awards are nice, but what do they mean?
In the case of Ruthie Foster, they mean that here’s a warm and engaging performer who is taking several music forms regarded as classic and breathing significant contemporary fire into them. Her ability to tastefully whip out a bluesy guitar riff upon which she’ll lay a soulful vocal should not be underestimated: She’s taking classic forms and methodically creating something new and inspiring with it all.
Recently in California to promote Promise Of A New Day, Foster stopped by the Yahoo Music studios, filled us in on her illustrious past—she’s done a lot in her life—and offered up a few performances that were striking in their perfection. Not a single wasted note, soulful vocals delivered with a unmistakable hint of character attached, and an economy and precision that spells out why she is currently garnering worldwide praise, Ruthie Foster was pure magic to watch and hear.