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Interview:
Ruthie Foster feels the challenge of success
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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You might say Ruthie Foster is feeling the weight of expectations these days.

The Texas-born singer-songwriter's last two albums -- 2009's "The Truth According to Ruthie Foster" and 2012's "Let It Burn" -- were each nominated for Grammy Awards in the blues category. She's also won four consecutive Koko Taylor Awards for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and was named Best Female Vocalist at the 2013 Austin Music Awards.

That's a lot ot have hanging over you when you sit down to make a new album, as Foster did with this year's "Promise of a Brand New Day."

"I try not to think of that when I'm writing and when I'm in the studio, but, yeah, I'm starting to feel it from the outside now," Foster, 50, says of the pressure. "That feeling is definitely there, but I really just kind of relaxed into this (album). It was a different experience, as is any recording I do."

Foster says she set out on "Promise of a Brand New Day" to "get as close to old soul blues as I could." But the fresh flavor came from Meshell Ndegeocello, an old friend who agreed to produce and play on the set, bringing Foster down to her home base of Atlanta for productive and, apparently, fairly painless sessions.

"It was such a treat for me to get to work with her, being the incredible musician that she is," Foster says. "She and I have been chasing each other down for awhile. We're both fans of each other's music and I've things she's produced for other black female artists and though it would be interesting to work with her, even if what we do is really different from each other.

"She has really great producer's ears, especially when it came to recording my vocals. She could figure out when I'm tired, when my voice just needed a break and stuff like that. It's cool to have somebody who knows the kind of stress that's under you and can try to keep within the budget for getting it done, too. It was a really great experience with her."

Ruthie Foster

8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17.

Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills.

Tickets start at $35 and $25.

Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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