Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ruthie Foster Is On Tour

Last night I was lucky enough to catch a short set by Ruthie Foster. After hearing her excellent new CD, Let It Burn, I was excited to see her perform. And what a joy it was. She has such warmth and vitality and honesty - these qualities emanate from her and infect the audience. She's one of those performers who inspirits you. And then of course there is her incredible voice.

Her band was a tight trio: Ruthie on vocals and guitar, Tanya Richardson on bass and backing vocals, and Samantha Banks on drums and backing vocals. As expected, the song selections for their short set focused on the new release.

One of the tracks that really blew me away from her new album is her take on the Pete Seeger song, "If I Had A Hammer." And Ruthie opened her set with that song. It's a seriously sexy rendition, and I was thrilled to see her play it live. She followed that with another track from Let It Burn, "Aim For The Heart." This one is an original. She played two other songs from Let It Burn: her slow, interesting rendition of "Ring Of Fire" and another original, "Welcome Home" (which leads off the album and features The Blind Boys Of Alabama).

She also played "Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)" off of her 2007 release, The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster, and "Stone Love" from her 2009 release, The Truth According To Ruthie Foster. Both songs were also included on her live album, Live At Antone's (2011). The encore was "Travelin' Shoes," which featured a groovy bass lead by Tanya Richardson and some wonderful work on drums by Samantha Banks.

Gibson Showroom, Beverly Hills, CA 2-1-12 Set List
  1. If I Had A Hammer
  2. Aim For The Heart
  3. Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)
  4. Ring Of Fire
  5. Welcome Home
  6. Stone Love
  1. Death Came A-Knockin' (Travelin' Shoes)

Cherish Lee also performed, doing a fun (but quite short) opening set.

Ruthie Foster Tour Schedule (Many of these dates are with Paul Thorn)

February 2 - Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR
February 3 - The Bing Crosby Theater, Spokane, WA
February 4 - The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
February 6 - Sierra Nevada Bewing Co, Chico, CA
February 7 - Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
February 8 - Napa Valley Opera House, Napa, CA
February 9 - Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
February 10 - UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
February 11 - The Compound Grill, Phoenix, AZ
February 12 - Berger Performing Arts Center, Tucson, AZ
February 14 - Strings Music Pavillion, Steamboat Springs, CO
February 16 - Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
February 17 - Vilar Center For The Arts, Beaver Creek, CO
February 18 - Swallow Hill Music Presents at L2 Arts & Culture Center, Denver, CO
February 23 - Dosey Doe Cafe, The Woodlands, TX
February 24 - Antone's, Austin, TX
February 25 - Sam's Burger Joint, San Antonio, TX
March 6 - Ramshead, Annapolis, MD
March 7 - Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
March 8 - WCL, Philadelphia, PA
March 9 - City Winery, New York, NY
March 10 - The Sanctuary Concerts, Chatham, NJ
March 14-16 - SXSW
March 17 - Kessler Theater, Dallas, TX
March 23 - Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA
March 24-25 - Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, GA
March 28 - Knucklehead's, Kansas City, MO
March 29 - Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO
March 30 - The Castle Theater - Bloomington, IL
March 31 - Schaumburg Prairie Center For The Arts, Schaumburg, IL

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