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Weekend Audition: Richard Shindell & Ruthie Foster

via youtube.com
Screen Capture of performance from Ruthie Foster's new live DVD/CD Ruthie Foster Live at Antone's.

Two delightful new projects came in to KUNC this week-- the latest work from singer, songwriter and tale weaver, Richard Shindell and the dynamic Ruthie Foster.

Oh bliss. Richard Shindell has another album out.

…well, actually it is not truly ‘new’ music, but reinterpretations of earlier work that the title of his new project explains perfectly, Thirteen Songs You May, or May Not Have Heard Before. The record is a collection of pared down versions of favorite songs, re-worked and brought to their bones in a concert-like intimacy that allows Shindell’s expressive vocals, delicious guitar work, and intelligent writing to shine.

Journeying through the 13 poignant and heart-grabbing tales that compose the album, one is reminded that Shindell really doesn’t write songs, but rather composes heartfelt short stories set to great melodies - a dynamic combination that touches the soul.

Richard Shindell, "Reunion Hill" performed at a small venue in Columbus Ohio in march, 2003.

When Ruthie Foster was 14, she made her musical debut in her uncle’s choir, and knew her  life would be in music.  In 2010, she won the Blues Music Award for ‘Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year’ and continues to excel.  This effervescent powerhouse writes songs woven in threads of soul and blues that are uplifting and speak of Truth, a word she defines as “being right where you are.”  Amen. 

It has been written that Foster could sing the phone book, jam on a laundry list and send everyone home happy, and I agree! She is a dynamic performer, and her sixth, and latest work, Let It Burn, proves that fact. 

On this work, Foster Joins up with the Blind Boys of Alabama a number of selections, as well as with American soul singer, William Bell, and not only shares works from her own pen, but visits classic songs of Robbie Robertson ('It Makes No Difference'), David Crosby ('Long Time Gone'), Pete Seeger and Lee Hays ('If I Had a Hammer'), and even June Carter's 'Ring of Fire', as well as a dynamic rendering of Adele’s 'Set Fire to the Rain', which Foster sings as if she owns; but Foster seems to own every song that she sings.  Ain’t that the Truth.

Phenomenal Woman Live at Antone's, Austin, TX

Though the majority of my radio experience has been in the commercial sector (from Colorado to Utah to Alaska), my radio was always tuned to the public station... I am an NPR junkie. I was blessed to work with some truly amazing and creative people in radio since my first professional job in the industry during my freshman year in college. That blessing has continued by being part of the family of one of the most incredible radio stations (and staff) in the country - KUNC.
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