The Truth According to Ruthie Foster

The Truth According to Ruthie Foster

The title of singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster’s 2009 album might sound presumptuous if her work didn’t seem so believably rooted in hard-won experience and tough times have only added to her hunger for experience and her capacity to love. Produced by Chris Goldsmith at Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios, these tracks invoke the sultry magic of Stax Records’ heyday, with a touch of Al Green’s gospel fire added. Foster works quite well in this classic mode, burning through “(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On,” “Truth!” and “Stone Love” with bluesy passion. The grooves here are supple and smoldering, with the reggaefied “I Really Love You” and the gospel-slanted “Love In the Middle” generating particular heat. While songs like “Tears of Pain” and “Nickel and a Nail” exorcize heartaches, Foster is most winning when she embraces happiness, as she does in the rousing acoustic tune “Joy On the Other Side.” Keyboardist Jim Dickinson, guitarist Robben Ford and the Memphis Horns are among the legendary players contributing to the tracks.

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