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Ruthie Foster (from the album Healing Time available on Blue Corn Music) (by Brian Rock)
Blues icon, Ruthie Foster, administers a dose of musical medicine on her ninth album, Healing Time. With arrangements that are lusher and more polished than her previous releases, this album skews more Motown than Chess, but Foster’s majestic voice still shines through.
The uplifting “Soul Searching” leads off with Ruthie Foster channeling her inner Darlene Love. A funky bass line sets the groove as electric piano and guitar radiate energy. Feeding off the energy, Ruthie Foster finds hope in her relationship struggles as she sings ‘I was soul searching when I found you, and it felt so right. Now I’m soul searching how to keep you in my life’. The joyful rhythms and backing vocal harmonies indicate that her search will soon yield what her heart seeks. Mining further more Motown influences, “Finish Line” captures the joyful energy of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. The first notes of “Give Up on You” recall “What’s Going On?” era-Marvin Gaye. The harmonica infused tones of “Love Is the Answer” are a tribute to Stevie Wonder. “For You” and “Paradise” evoke the elegance of Mary Wells.
Ruthie Foster does return to her Chicago Blues stylings on “What Kind of Fool” but she really hits her stride when she embraces her Gospel Roots. “I Was Called” is a slow burning praise song whose lyrics celebrate the joy of victory while the musical arrangement acknowledges the pain of the struggle. “Freedom” starts off slow and contemplative and builds to a dynamic crescendo as Foster sings ‘storm clouds are breaking and my worries, they are fading’. She is not only addressing personal freedom from worry or addiction, her words are calling for a national, global freedom from division and all the ugly ‘isms’ that separate we humans from one another. “Healing Time” is full throttle, feel-good Gospel. Reminding us that the first step to healing is to let go of what’s hurting us, she encourages us to take an active part in our healing as well as the healing of our communities. If music is good medicine, then Ruthie Foster has earned her M.D. degree. (by Brian Rock)
Listen and buy the music of Ruthie Foster from AMAZON
Please go to the Ruthie Foster website for more purchase and artist information
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