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Ruthie Foster

Friday, May 24, 2024

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Austin, TX

  Ruthie Foster was born in the small rural town of Gause, TX. Raised in a family of gospel singers, Ruthie first learned to sing during worship services at her community church. With a chapel-bred bravado trained on the works of powerful women such as Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, her sound grew into an inspired blend of blues, folk and gospel.
   Seeking to define her own path, Ruthie left her hometown to serve in the Navy. She discovered her love for performing while singing pop and funk tunes as the frontwoman of Pride, a band that performed at Navy recruitment drives nationwide. Ruthie’s time with Pride provided a window into varying American cultures coast to coast, and after her service she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a professional musician.
  After diving into the city’s vibrant music scene, she became a staple in the folk community and was soon offered a development deal by Atlantic Records. Atlantic envisioned Ruthie as a pop artist, but Ruthie was focused on taking a step back to further explore roots music. She turned her back on the major label record deal and returned to her home state to spend more time with family and the music that shaped her.
Ruthie moved back to Texas and settled in Austin. Her debut, Full Circle, was released in 1997 and was followed by Crossover in 1999. The two albums secured Ruthie as an up-and-coming singer/songwriter in the Austin scene and caught the attention of Texas independent label Blue Corn Music.

Ruthie’s career also reaches beyond her own releases and performances. She has collaborated on stage with artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to The Allman Brothers to Susan Tedeschi, and has recorded tracks with Warren Haynes, Big Head Todd, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. Ruthie has also recently been featured both as an actress, with a guest appearance on NBC’s television series Revolution, and as a classical vocalist, with Austin’s prestigious vocal ensemble Conspirare.

To date, Ruthie’s artistry and creative output have both been lauded with accolades on regional and national platforms. Outside of her 2010, 2012 and 2014 Grammy nominations, Ruthie has been recognized by organizations such as the Austin Music Awards (2007, 2008 and 2013 Best Female Vocalist), Blues Music Awards (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Living Blues Awards (2010 Critics’ Poll Winner and 2011 nominee for Blues Female Artist of the Year).

Ruthie Foster’s ninth studio album represents a new high water mark for the veteran blues artist—a collection of songs possessing pure power, like a tidal wave of musical generosity. Healing Time finds Foster pushing her boundaries as a singer and songwriter more than ever before, creating a truly live-sounding atmosphere with the help of her band, who sound refreshingly loose and lived-in throughout these 12 songs. We’ve all been in need of some healing in recent times, and Foster’s latest provides a guide for how to move through the world with equal parts compassion and resolve.

Healing Time is ultimately a work that explores such extremes as being human often brings to the surface, reminding listeners that even when we feel like we’re at the top, we’re ultimately still finding our way—a beautiful reflection of the essence of living itself.

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