Ruthie Foster

Live at Antone's (Blue Corn)

Texas Platters

Ruthie Foster

Live at Antone's (Blue Corn)

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.

***.5

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