Dec 19, 2011
CenterArts presents The Soul Salvation Tour featuring the Ruthie Foster Band with Paul Thorn on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. in the Van Duzer Theatre, HSU.
Warm up your winter with this soulful concert featuring Ruthie Foster and Paul Thorn touring together for the first time. Ruthie (with her band) and Paul Thorn blend blues, rock, gospel, folk, R&B;and country music for what promises to be a memorable show. Tickets are $35 general, $35 Senior/child, $15 HSU students. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office at HSU or at centerarts.humboldt.edu.
Ruthie Foster is taking a break from Warren Hayne’s band for a West Coast tour with like minded musician Paul Thorn. Rich with honest spirituality and possessing vocal abilities that have critics comparing her to Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin, Ruthie’s passionate songs and scintillating live performances always make for an uplifting experience.
Ruthie Foster was raised on the multiple flags of American music. There’s Southern blues in her groove, rock in her rhythm, a blend of gospel redemption, country poetry and jazz elegance in her singing.
Even before her debut at age 14 as a soloist in the choir her uncle conducted, Foster knew that her life would revolve around music. After moving to Waco to attend McClennan Community College, she mixed classes in music and audio engineering with visits to clubs at night, where the curriculum wasn’t based on textbooks but on the power of performance. After a while she was fronting a blues band in biker bars and other venues from Dallas to San Antonio.
Foster immersed herself so deeply in music that eventually she decided she needed to step back and regain a little real-world perspective. “For years, all I did was eat, talk, dream and live about music. It got to the point that I wanted to find out if I could even hold a conversation about anything else,” she recalls, laughing. “But I was also curious about what was going on with the rest of the world. So I joined the Navy.”
Even there, music tracked her down. At a Christmas party for her helicopter squadron, she couldn’t resist sitting in with the band to sing a few choruses of “Red House.” It was a short step from there to being signed up by Pride, a Navy ensemble that played the Top 40 and funk hits of the day at recruitment drives, mainly throughout the Southeastern states.
“There were seven of us, and I was the only woman in the band,” she recalls. “That’s where I learned how to work and hold my own on the road, and that was huge for me too.” From there, Foster’s path led to New York, where she absorbed more influences by performing at folk venues and collaborating with some of the city’s better songwriters. Supported at the time by a contract with Atlantic Records, she expanded her lyrical and musical range.
But it became apparent that she wasn’t the mainstream power-ballad singer the label wanted her to be, and that her writing was veering away from commercial pop and drawing instead from the roots that had nourished her personally and artistically in her youth. Since that time, Foster has progressed through five albums and a steady regimen of hard work, whether fronting a full band or working solo, writing at her digs in Austin or taking it to the people.
Paul Thorn is an authentic new voice in the modern blues scene, bridging classic forms with twenty-first century sensibility. Performing on their own and together with Ruthie’s band, it’s an evening of raw musical emotion, soulful singing and finely honed musical virtuosity guaranteed to be good for the spirit.
For more information and credit card orders, call CenterArts at 826-3928 or visit centerarts.humboldt.edu.