The Truth According to Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn Music)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Feb. 13, 2009
Ruthie FosterThe Truth According to Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn Music)
Hosannas heaped on Ruthie Foster's magnificent vocals are well-earned, which explains why the local cottage industry seems in no hurry to be pigeonholed as a singer-songwriter. Foster owes a good deal of her country blues goodness to her accompanying musicians – including Robben Ford, Larry Fulcher, and Memphis vets Jim Dickinson, Wayne Jackson, and Charles Hodges – so the Southern soul bar is high. She certainly comes on soulful with her own "Stone Love" and "Joy on the Other Side," while indelibly marking Patty Griffin's "When It Don't Come Easy." Better yet is the smooth rendition of Joe Simon nugget "(You Keep Me) Hangin' On," the great O.V. Wright's silky "Nickel and a Nail," and chunky Memphis soul in "Dues Paid in Full." Yet this sum isn't as great as Truth's parts, perhaps because Foster doesn't serve enough of the satisfying Americana her audience has become accustomed to. Scrap the reggae, Ruthie, and go for the gospel gold.