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Ruthie Foster – Live at Antone’s (2011)

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Ruthie Foster – Live at Antone’s (2011)

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01 – Stone Love					play
02 – i Really Love you
03 – (you Keep me) Hangin’ on
04 – Up Above my Head (i Hear Music in the air)
05 – Runaway Soul
06 – Fruits of my Labor
07 – When it don’t Come Easy
08 – Back to the Blues
09 – Nickel and a Nail
10 – Heal Yourself
11 – Woke up This Mornin’
12 – Phenomenal Woman
13 – Death Came a-Knockin’
14 – Ocean of Tears				play

Ruthie Foster (vocals, guitar); 
Hadden Sayers (vocals, guitar); 
Scottie Miller (vocals, keyboards); 
Tanya Richardson (vocals, 5-string bass); 
Samantha Banks (vocals, drums, percussion); 
Papa Mali (guitar).


Texas native Ruthie Foster contends as one of this generation's finest singers. Her voice is often compared to Ella Fitzgerald, Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin. Foster's songwriting also deserves honorable mention. Her six solo albums contain a wealth of material. She recorded her latest studio album--The Truth According To Ruthie Foster--at Ardent Studios in Memphis. The Truth earned Foster a Grammy nomination.

Live at Antone's encapsulates Foster's inimitable blend of soul, gospel and blues music. Foster only sings three of her own original compositions on this live recording. Her band on Live at Antone's includes guitarist Hadden Sayers, keyboardist Scotty Miller, bassist Tonya Richardson and drummer Samantha Banks.

Stone Love, commences the performance with a soulful swing, and emotive guitar licks by Hadden Sayers. Foster's hypnotic voice hooks the listener immediately. Foster dedicates the R & B number I Really Love You to the audience. & You Keep Me Hangin' On reminds me of the Staple Singers at their peak.

Foster renders Rosetta Thorpe's Up Above My Head with a conviction usually only found in church. Runaway Soul consists of a rock & roll groove that finds the audience eating from Foster's hand. Foster covers the Lucinda Williams composition Fruits of My Labor that really shines like a coal lamp at midnight.

Patty Griffin's song When It Don't Come Easy sounds like a folk gem, but Foster's voice emits a rare degree of emotion. Foster's voice on blues legend O.V. Wright's A Nickel and A Nail reminds me of Ann Peebles from her Hi Records days. Papa Mali lends his guitar expertise on the funky Heal Yourself.

Woke Up This Morning engages the crowd because Foster's voice teases the way she utilizes her pitch before the tune kicks in. Phenomenal Woman stands as a soul classic, and should be on any number of Billboard charts. This is one of the finest songs on this collection. Death Come A Knockin' is pure gospel music.

Ocean of Tears ends the performance with a vocal power rivaled by few, and an eclectic instrumentation that demonstrates Foster's proclivity for musical diversity. Live At Antone's contains a healthy dose of soul... --Swampland.com


If superlatives are left for Austin's Ruthie Foster, they must be translated from a foreign language. And given the CD/DVD combo Live at Antone's, new ones could be invented. For starters, it's a quick summation of her career: soulful, spiritual, real. Foster weaves a magical blend of roots music and blues in such original favorites as Stone Love and Runaway Soul, but it's little nuggets that make Antone's golden. She steals Lucinda Williams' Fruits of My Labor and glazes it with Ruthie Foster frosting, then owns Patty Griffin's When It Don't Come Easy with amazing grace. The DVD offers vivid testimony to her electric presence onstage chatty and engaging, channeling Sister Rosetta Tharpe and spotlighting her band of gypsy players including Papa Mali and the mighty bottom line of drummer Samantha Banks and bassist Tanya Richardson, their dark dreadlocks evoking Ruthie Foster's primal soul. --Austin Chronicle

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