Folk-blues singer covers Black Sabbath on her new album
Austin singer Ruthie Foster defies classification. Her previous albums have featured covers from the likes of Johnny Cash, David Crosby and Adele, as well as her own originals. For this new project, Joy Comes Back, her first release in three years, the approach is equally eclectic: she tackles songs by the Four Tops, Mississippi John Hurt and, most notably, a Son House-flavored rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”
She’s also joined by several stellar guests, including guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Joe Vitale. We talk to Foster about how music got her through a tumultuous chapter in her life, plus why she quit the business and signed up for the Navy several years ago.
Derek Trucks Band – roadsongs (Sony Masterworks) – CD review – Derek Trucks can play some guitar;. he’s been honing his craft, in and out of the Allman Brothers for over a decade now. What the double live roadsongs shows is that he’s taken all those styles and blended them into a comfortable mix he can truly call his own.
Trucks conquers some diverse territory here. He starts disc one with several cuts from his latest studio effort, Already Free, including the gorgeous “Days is Almost Gone,” then tackles some heady material in the jazzy Mongo Santamaría classic “Afro Blue,” which he stretches to over 14 minutes, and Bob Marley’s “Rastaman Chant,” both featuring some killer flute and percussion. Throughout, the one constant is Trucks’ succulent fretwork; he’s truly developed a singularly unique sound. His slidework is so expressive, capable of joyous highs and crying lows, you can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. In Mike Mattison, he’s finally found a vocalist worthy to trade licks with.
The disc closes with a pair of Derek & the Dominoes album tracks, “Key to the Highway,” and “Anyday,” undoubtedly hold-overs from Trucks teaming with Eric Clapton during a winter live set with the Allmans. There’s no doubt that Trucks is talented, but with this live set, he truly shows that he’s got the vision to bring everything together into one killer set of tunes. –Tony Peters