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Ruthie Foster
The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster

Blue Corn Records
Run Time: 44:23
By Ben Cox

Since her 2002 break through album Runaway Soul, Ruthie Foster is making waves throughout all of music. Her deeply personal lyrics and wonderfully timbered vocals full of nuance, soul, and warmth have seemingly come full circle on her latest disc for the Blue Corn label entitled The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster.

The album cover with Foster in mid-phrase hearkens to old school album covers from late 60s soul giants. Mixing all the roots of America’s music, Foster easily skates the gamut of gospel, blues, soul, rhythm and blues, and even the more commercial adult contemporary of commercial radio. If you enjoy the likes of Eric Bibb, Amos Lee, and dare I say John Mayer, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Norah Jones; Ruthie Foster is definitely worth a listen.

Foster’s personal lyrics are finally mixed with well-chosen covers of the gospel-inflected stomp of Son House’s “People Grinnin’ In Your Face” to the straight-ahead classic gospel-blues of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In the Air).” Foster also pays homage to the aforementioned Bibb with the tender blues ballad of “A Friend Like You.” Foster also makes an easy arrangement out of the empassioned woman-power poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou and softens the rough-around-the-edges roots singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits of My Labor.”

If you’re a lady, I highly recommend adding this album to your collection because themes of motherhood, being loved, and the celebration of everything woman. The song “Mama Said” by Foster herself gives resonant ring on this theme.

However, lovers of music period will want this album for its stripped down acoustic feel, wonderful vocal power and range of Foster, and the mix of genre that keeps progressing blues into a direction that’s very tip-of-the-hat to the roots while still remaining fresh, new, and bold, and empowering.

You can visit Ruthie on the world wide web at: and at

You can purchase  this CD at Blue Corn records at  and her entire catalog is available at any major record outlet,, and CD Baby.

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