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Ruthie Foster

With a naturally expressive voice that has drawn comparisons to greats like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, Texas-based singer and songwriter Ruthie Foster has a wide palette of American song forms -- gospel and blues to jazz, folk, and soul -- and her live performances are powerfully transfiguring. Foster grew up in Gause, Texas, a small town in the Brazos Valley southeast of Dallas, and even as a child she was fascinated by music; she listened to everything she could, hearing and absorbing not just gospel and blues, but also the country and pop songs she heard on the radio. By the age of 14 she was a soloist in a local choir and was certain that her future would revolve around music. When she moved to Waco to attend community college, her studies concentrated around music and audio engineering. She also began fronting a blues band, learning how to command a stage in the rough bars of Texas. Hoping to travel and gain a wider-world perspective, Foster joined the Navy, but her obvious musical talents soon had her singing with Pride, a Navy band that played pop and funk hits at recruitment drives in the southeastern U.S.

Following her tour of duty, Foster landed in New York City, where she regularly played various folk venues. Atlantic Records offered her a recording deal, figuring they had a budding pop star on their hands, but Foster wasn't interested in moving in that direction, preferring instead to explore the various strains of American roots music that had informed her childhood. When her mother fell ill in 1993, Foster left New York and her recording deal and returned to Texas. She began working as a camera operator and production assistant at a TV station in College Station, Texas while she cared for her mother, who passed in 1996. A year later in 1997 Foster self-released the album Full Circle before hooking up with Blue Corn Music, which released Crossover in 1999, Runaway Soul in 2002, Stages (featuring a series of live tracks) in 2004, Heal Yourself in 2006, The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster in 2008, and The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, in 2009.

An engaging live performer, Foster continued to tour regularly, wowing audiences with her powerful voice and stylistic range, all of which was captured in the concert CD/DVD set Live at Antone's, which appeared from Blue Corn in 2011. A new studio outing, Let It Burn, followed in 2012, also from Blue Corn; it was nominated for the Best Blues Album Grammy in 2013. Foster took home the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year in 2012, along with the DVD of the Year for Live at Antone's. Foster switched her approach in 2014 with Promise of a Brand New Day, a record produced by Meshell Ndegeocello. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Seen Ruthie twice. Once in a concert hall in Door County, Wisconsin and once at an outside music festival in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Both were wonderful. I am sorry she doesn't get royalties from Pandora.
Rockin' Soulful sounds from a Phenomenal Woman...go Ruthie go! Keep on singing them blues!
I LOVE THE SONG KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH CLOSED, WHICH ALBUM IS IT ON.
royaldmd
Holy Cow! She is awesome! She raises the hair on my arms and grabs my soul! I'm going to remember her name and buy her records!
sandya8805
I had the opportunity to see Ruthie Foster this summer at the Rocky Mnt. Music Festival in Hailey, Idaho. She rocked the park...amazi n g !!
Lordy what a Powerful Voice.
Holding on for dear life against her pent uo energy and angst
nancyhd0
wonderful!!! ! !
She left us howling at the moon at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
if we all had this rythm in our hearts what a happy planet Earth would be !!
This is absolutly my favoritestat i o n and I love Ruthie Fosters sound
Word
Garde arts New London , Fabulous!!!! ! ! !
donnadonorma n
Ruthie is playing where I live in Eureka Springs Ar. tonite! lovinin her!
Saw Ruthie just this past Friday May 11th. Absolutely amazing performer!! Also bought 2 of her CDs and got them autographed that night. High on my recommend shows list!
zspine
WOW!!!!! YES, LORD!!!!
lclockridge
I bought her album, Phenomenal.. . , after hearing her here. Thank you Pandora! I don't think I would have discovered her otherwise. I also shared her with my mother and she LOVED the album!
see her perform live if you can. WOW! excellent, powerful, funny, stage presence 5-star.
egario
I really like this young lady-- you go baby sistah!
vpiazza7
pandora just sprung her on me, and looking at her photo ... i think she used to play on the staten island ferry. can anybody confirm??
Wonderful soul, voice, lyrics!!!!
kathleen_ban k s
Ruthie Foster on the 30th of October at Mount Baker Theater. Can't wait.
kdresser2
she is great. My family in Maine played her cd and I was hooked.
OMG the sole, the felling the truth. It was so good to see u in Alaska. Thank U for comming.
Wow, how did miss out this singer? Ruthie... you're cool!
jillotey
love this woman.. also lizz wright.
never heard of her before, man she is so reminiscent of my time in high school but better! GD she done got soul,.
I worked with Ruthie in 1994-1996 in College Station and was spoilled being able to see her play all the time. I miss those late nights at the 3rd Floor Cantina. She still doesn't have exposure she deserves. Simply the voice of my soul! We love you "Ruthella!"
i recall hearing her name before but didn't know very much about her and had not heard her music. i like what i hear so far... very talented artist. i look forward to hearing more.
amazing clear tones from her guitar; when she leans into the lower part of her voice I shiver
gettin ready for the guitar blues show tonite...... . . . r u t h i e , jorma, and robben ford
I've seen her six or seven times live and she never fails to impress me! What a personality and what a voice!
never heard of her before but going to buy the cd. great voice. spiritual and soulsy.
saw her live last night. One of the most amazing voices, and performers, I've ever seen. Check her out with headphones on; you'll get chills (the good kind).
I Likey!
steve5819
What a truly amazing woman. Top line entertainer. My entire family including teenage kids are fans.
Beautiful voice,very spiritual.
cgard23
She is a magical gift to music with right down to her soul
lfish81
Ruthie lives up to the name of her CD, she is phenomenal. After hearing her on Pandora I googled her, check her out on youtube.
james.jhowar d
I saw her live this past Friday night. She opened for Taj Mahal. Sorry Taj but the lady stole the show. I look forward to hearing more from this gal.

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