The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster
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|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, 6 February 2007||
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12.57 x 14.25 x 0.74 cm; 63.5 Grams
- Manufacturer : Blue Corn Music
- Item Model Number : 2105204
- Original Release Date : 2007
- Label : Blue Corn Music
- ASIN : B000M06K6Q
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 121,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
- Customer Reviews:
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Ruthie Foster has made the album of her career with 'The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster'. Austin legend Papa Mali handles the production and guitar duties joining Ruthie and some of Austin's top musicians in a very strong set of originals and covers of songs by Son House, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Lucinda Williams. This deeply grooving album shows a side of Ruthie that has ever really been captured in the studio before as she displays her talents on the Fender/Rhodes and unleashes her soulful vocals on the funkiest songs she has ever recorded.
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If you like classy music, if you want to treat your ears, the BUY IT!
Ruthie is a wonderful soul/blues artist. I understand that this recording represents a bit of a departure for her stylistically. This evolution is a happy circumstance because it fits her voice beautifully. It is silky smooth and features equally well in country blues, vintage soul, and everywhere in between. The following are few standout tracks for me.
"Fruits of My Labor" is the quintessential song for a hot, lazy summer day. It is not just the melody or structure of the song, but the lyrics as well (purple flowers, lavender lotus, tangerine, persimmons, sugar cane, honey dew melon, etc.).
A personal favorite is the a capella "People Grinnin' in Your Face". My only previous exposure to the song was in the White Stripes DVD, "Under Blackpool Lights". Of course this version is quite different. Ruthie strips it down to soulful backing vocals, light percussion and hand claps. It is a soulful, rousing rendition!
"Beaver Creek Blues" opens with a symphony of "creek critters" (bullfrog, insects, etc.) which transports you to the country (or swamp). They then give way to a funky drum beat. The song is a simple blues ditty with one-line repeating verses but it is very effective. Ruthie seems to have a lot of fun with it. "Mama Said" has a similar country soul feel as it shares a mother's common sense wisdom.
"Harder than the Fall" and "I Don't Know What to Do with My Heart" are exquisite. The lyrics are intimate and the melodies are beautiful. They both touch the heart.
There are a couple songs that are not great in my opinion (particularly "Cuz I'm Here"wasn't really to my taste), but overall the album is phenomenal. So is Ruthie. Give it a listen. If you like straight soul or soulful blues, you will adore this recording.