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Phenomenal Ruthie Foster

Ruthie FosterAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $12.99  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 'Cuz I'm Here 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Heal Yourself 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Fruits of My Labor 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. People Grinnin' in Your Face 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Up Above My Head (I Hear Music in the Air) 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Harder Than the Fall 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beaver Creek Blues 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mama Said 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Phenomenal Woman 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. A Friend Like You 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. I Don't Know What to Do With My Heart 4:28$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Ruthie Foster Store


Image of album by Ruthie Foster


Image of Ruthie Foster


AUSTIN, Texas — From houses of worship to houses of blues, Ruthie Foster has always been a rafter-rattler. And with a soul-filled voice honed in Texas churches, she can move audiences to tears or ecstasy — sometimes in a single song. Her last two albums, 2009’s The Truth According to Ruthie Foster and 2012’s Let It Burn, moved the Recording Academy to deliver Best Blues ... Read more in Amazon's Ruthie Foster Store

Visit Amazon's Ruthie Foster Store
for 7 albums, 5 photos, and 4 full streaming songs.

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Phenomenal Ruthie Foster + Let It Burn + The Truth According to Ruthie Foster
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Corn Music
  • ASIN: B000M06K6Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,626 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ruthie Foster has made the album of her career with 'The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster'. Austin legend Papa Mali handles the production and guitar duties joining Ruthie and some of Austin's top musicians in a very strong set of originals and covers of songs by Son House, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Lucinda Williams. This deeply grooving album shows a side of Ruthie that has ever really been captured in the studio before as she displays her talents on the Fender/Rhodes and unleashes her soulful vocals on the funkiest songs she has ever recorded.

Ruthie Foster's the newest voice in old-school soul. Her fifth album is a remarkable flashback to the genre's '60s and '70s heyday, framing her warm butter-and-cayenne-pepper singing with organ, electric piano, shimmering guitar textures, and strong backbeats. That sound, along with her strength as a song interpreter--rippling with beauty on Lucinda Williams's "Fruits of My Labor," stunningly emotional on Son House's cautionary Delta spiritual "People Grinnin' in Your Face"--and her fine-tuned social politics, makes Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone reasonable artistic references. For the 42-year-old Texan, this historic approach is new. Until now she's been an obscure acoustic-guitar-wielding singer-songwriter. And, indeed, the evocative lyricism of her own tunes "Harder Than the Fall," "Heal Yourself," and "Beaver Creek Blues" is clearly the work of an experienced craftsperson. But the performances on this elegant album, made under the tutelage of imaginative and empathetic Austin-based producer Malcolm Welbourne, live up to its boastful title, and seem destined to bring Foster the larger audience she deserves. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal CD from a phenomenal woman March 23, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was not familiar with Ruthie Foster prior to happening upon this CD. The title, "The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster", amused me somewhat. What was she thinking referring to herself as "phenomenal"? Wasn't she inviting some major cynicism? Curious, I finally listened to the clips available online. I approached it with the attitude, "Show me just how phenomenal you are." Well, she did! I was quickly and fully captivated. She really is phenomenal. (For the record, you will notice that track 9 is entitled "Phenomenal Woman", so the title of the CD does have contextual relevance.)

Ruthie is a wonderful soul/blues artist. I understand that this recording represents a bit of a departure for her stylistically. This evolution is a happy circumstance because it fits her voice beautifully. It is silky smooth and features equally well in country blues, vintage soul, and everywhere in between. The following are few standout tracks for me.

"Fruits of My Labor" is the quintessential song for a hot, lazy summer day. It is not just the melody or structure of the song, but the lyrics as well (purple flowers, lavender lotus, tangerine, persimmons, sugar cane, honey dew melon, etc.).

A personal favorite is the a capella "People Grinnin' in Your Face". My only previous exposure to the song was in the White Stripes DVD, "Under Blackpool Lights". Of course this version is quite different. Ruthie strips it down to soulful backing vocals, light percussion and hand claps. It is a soulful, rousing rendition!

"Beaver Creek Blues" opens with a symphony of "creek critters" (bullfrog, insects, etc.) which transports you to the country (or swamp). They then give way to a funky drum beat.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Kept Secret April 1, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ruthie Foster is the best kept secret in America. I learned about her music from a friend who lives in Canada. One listen was all it took to realize that this was a performer I needed to follow. I started with "Runaway Soul" which still moves me after almost daily listening. Her songs inform life. This newest CD release--Phenomenal Ruthie Foster--has a bit of a self-congratulatory and cheesy title, but the songs are not to be missed. Celebrate her beautiful voice on the song "I Don't Know What to Do With My Heart," or moan with the blues of "Mama Said." Foster is firmly in touch with every genre of North American music. She turns competently between traditional spirituals and more contemporary pop/folk tunes. I could go on and on, but will stop just to say that you owe it to your soul to listen to this CD...and ALL of Ruthie's recordings.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars phenomenal February 9, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I just caught the R. Foster show in Chicago at Fitzgerald's on 2/8/7 and was blown away. Incredibly, there were maybe 50 people there (it was 5 degrees out and the town is still getting over the Super Bowl). If it's possible, Ruthie delivers this material live at maybe a factor of 5 over the record which I can't seem to stop listening to. American Idol? They are the very minor leagues. Ruthie can hang with anyone. Buy the record, see her live.

phenomenal is an understatement.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing album May 8, 2007
Format:Audio CD
By Matthew W. Moran

"The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster" might be an audacious title for an album, but rest assured, it's not false advertising. Foster backs it up in this gorgeous new CD.

The album title is more than braggadocio - the lyrics for one track comes from "Phenomenal Woman," a poem by Dr. Maya Angelou that booms with confidence.

"I'm a big, big fan of Maya Angelou," said Foster." "I grew up wanting to be a poet. So running across this poem in a song was just beautiful to me. I had to record that one, because to me, that's the essence of where I'm at right now. I know God ain't done with me yet, but I'm feeling pretty good."

At age 42 years old, Foster is a rarity in today's musical world, but the soulful Texas native seems to be coming into her own in this, her fifth album. The disc is reminiscent of "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," minus the hip-hop influences, as Foster blends R&B, soul, country, and Gospel, in a style comparable to Aretha Franklin or Ella Fitzgerald.

Part of the CD ripples with proclamation, like the bold "Heal Yourself." On "Beaver Creek Blues," croaking bullfrogs and other sounds of the swamp can be heard in the background, while Foster shows off her massively flexible pipes. But perhaps the highlight of the album is the mellow closing track, "I Don't Know What To Do With My Heart," featuring an arrangement so beautiful the song will be hard to listen to only once.

Bottom line: I don't even like R&B (generally speaking) but this is a beautiful album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal! June 5, 2007
By Meh
Format:Audio CD
I heard Ruthie Foster in an interview on NPR (National Public Radio), on "Studio 360". NPR has done this to me before; hooked me on a sound I'd never experienced previous. I have this CD in my cubicle at work and it is all I can do not to dance or sing out loud. I am going to have to get a copy for the car and one for the house I think. This was my first Foster experience and it is as profound as Bob Marley singing "No Woman, No Cry". And Maya Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman" set to song by Foster is...I don't have the words.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruthie is fabulous
I've loved Ruthie's music since I first saw her years ago in a concert at my small church. Her voice is incredible--she can sing ANYTHING. Read more
Published 4 months ago by TAKnight
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruthie Foster GOD is not finish with her yet
I'm old school and her music and voice reminds me of my time in the country going to the little white church. Back in the day the only thing missing is a wash board. Read more
Published 6 months ago by barbara m. thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Music to be Heard
Lotta Soul in this woman's voice ! One must listen and appreciate the rhythms and sounds of this CD !
Published 8 months ago by hofner2
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Had to replace a copy that I bought when Ruthie came to my town. Played it so much, my copy was scratched up so I had to get a new one.
Published 12 months ago by Netta0309
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone
If you like laid back blues, "'Cuz I'm Here","Fruits of My Labor" will work, Something more gritty "Heal Yourself" & "Phenomenal Woman", Gospel... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Woodville Bluebird
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I Stumbled Across This Great Artist...Wow
Ruthie Foster is an American singer-songwriter of blues, gospel and folk music. Her first release was back in 1997. Read more
Published 20 months ago by To The Max"Bax"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster
In April 2011 I was invited to an intimate venue in Tucson, Arizona, to a Ruthie Foster concert. She only needed an acoustic guitar, microphone and water. Read more
Published on May 6, 2011 by Shoes in Particular
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Phenomenal
An artist who spans the skills of old blues singers and contemporary blues singer/songwriters. Her voice quality is classy classic.
Published on September 11, 2010 by LizOra
5.0 out of 5 stars I see why she was nominated for a Grammy
The title says it all. Sounds like a mix of Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight with a little Texas flair!
Published on February 17, 2010 by Janette Hargraves
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal
OK. Here's the deal. It is a little bit uneven, but..... but... one song on this disk will touch your soul. I don't know which one... that's up to you. Ruthie can sing. Read more
Published on February 2, 2010 by W. Upchurch
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