Let It Burn
Label: Blue Corn Music
Reviewed: January, 2012
I love rock. I love the blues. I love soul. I love folk. I love gospel. It’s a rare treat to come across an artist who artfully pours all five of those ingredients into their creative melting pot and come up with a musical feast that delights the ears. Ruthie Foster does exactly that with her seventh album, Let It Burn.
The Grammy nominee is Texas born and bred, cutting her teeth on church pews in the rural areas of the state and grew up paying her dues in crafting her eclectic style of blues. Ruthie has worked, in one form or another, with greats like Bonnie Rate, Big Head Todd and many others, adding her incredible voice and stage presence to their incredible presence.
Let It Burn features songs by such diverse talent as The Band, Adele, Black Keys, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Pete Seeger, Los Lobos, Johnny Cash and many others. Lending a hand at the recording sessions at New Orleans’ Piety Street Studios were: Blind Boys of Alabama; soul great, William Bell; George Porter (The Funky Meters) on bass; the legendary Ike Stubblefield on the Hammond B3; sax man, James Rivers; Dave Easley on guitar; and drummer Russell Batiste. The musicians represent the cream of New Orleans’ musical crop and it shows in glaring ways on this album.
If you love hearing covers of classics that put them in a completely different light, then you’ll definitely want to immediately own Let It Burn. Case in point: Ruthie’s treatment of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire will catch the listener pleasantly by surprise. I love, love, love this rendition of this country classic and would definitely be on the short list of Boomerocity favorites from this album if I have anything to do with it (and I do).
Another one that caught me by surprise is Ruthie’s cover of Black Keys’ Everlasting Night. This cover stands equally as well on its own as the original does. In fact, I believe that one could set up a play list on their playing with alternate playing of this tune between the two artists and be quite happy listening to both versions for many hours without growing tired of either.
Other tunes that experience repeat hits of the repeat button are Pete Seeger’s If I Had A Hammer and the sultry delivery of the John Martyn song, Don’t Want To Know. Man, oh man! I couldn’t possibly begin to say how great those songs are. You’ll just have to buy the album and see for yourself.
I am definitely a new, die-hard Ruthie Foster fan. By the album and you’ll see why.
Let It Burn lands on January 31, 2012.
Written by Randy Patterson