“The singer will take you to ‘Paradise’, or maybe it’s more accurate to say she’ll show you that you are already there.” -Pop Matters
Ruthie Foster is a four-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter who mixes a wide palette of American song forms, from gospel and blues to jazz, folk and soul. Described by Rolling Stone as “pure magic to watch and hear,” her vocal talent was elevated in worship services at her community church. Drawing influence from legendary acts like Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, Foster developed a unique sound unable to be contained within a single genre. That uniqueness echoes a common theme in Ruthie’s life and career – marching to the beat of her own drum. She walked away from a recording contract with Atlantic early in her career because she didn’t want to be the pop artist they had in mind. She wanted to do roots-informed music like the kinds she grew up with in Texas. So she self-released an album that launched her career as the artist she wanted to be, and has never looked back.
Foster’s awards list has grown to include four Grammy nominations; numerous wins at the Blues Music Awards, including three awards for Best Female Vocalist; and the Foster’s crown for Best Female Vocalist at the Austin Music Awards. She also won the Living Blues Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Female Blues Artist.
Her most recent album, “Healing Time,” which features pedal steel legend Robert Randolph on the opening track, is a reference not only to the trials many have faced over the last several years, but also the necessity of what Foster does as an artist.
“I hear fans tell me that the music we make is very spiritually healing,” she says. “The experience of dealing with my own grief after losing a band member a year before the pandemic while navigating around Zoom school with my daughter and trying to figure out what to do with myself was tough but necessary. When I look at it as a whole it was all very healing for me which is pretty much how I try to live my life. There’s always time for healing,if you give it time.”