Arts and Entertainment

Ruthie Foster: Blues on Fire

Ruthie Foster, who returns to Friday Harbor to ignite the San Juan Community Theatre Whittier Stage with her very own specially heated blend of blues, rock, soul, folk and a little bit of gospel, too, Friday, May 2.    - Contributed photo
Ruthie Foster, who returns to Friday Harbor to ignite the San Juan Community Theatre Whittier Stage with her very own specially heated blend of blues, rock, soul, folk and a little bit of gospel, too, Friday, May 2.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Guess who was dubbed the Austin Music Awards Best Female Vocalist in 2007 and 2008, and again in 2013? Take a moment, if you need.

But while you’re at it, take a stab at who also earned Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Blues Album in ‘09 and again in 2012? Getting warmer?

Well, here’s a hint, as that very same artist also bears the mantle of Female Blues Artist of the Year in 2010 and in 2013, via the Living Blues Music Award Critic’s Poll.

Susan Tedeschi, you say? Lucinda Williams, perhaps? Quality guesses, but both missed the bulls-eye.

The fact is, that all those accolades and awards go to the artist that Oprah Magazine has labeled a “blues powerhouse,” and that’s none other than Texas born and raised Ruthie Foster, who returns to Friday Harbor to ignite the San Juan Community Theatre Whittier Stage with her very own specially heated blend of blues, rock, soul, folk and a little bit of gospel, too, Friday, May 2.

Ruthie FosterWith all that notoriety, one might suppose that Ms. Foster might be sorta’ stand-off-ish, or maybe even a tad bit full of herself—but not so—says San Juan Island’s Tom Ashcraft, whose Friday Harbor-based Heuristic Enterprises sponsored Foster performance at the theatre a year ago. She made such a captivating, brilliant impression last time around that Ashcraft decided to sponsor her show again this year.

“She didn’t act like a celebrity,” he said. “She just sat and played her guitar… it was really cool.”

Foster has parlayed what were humble beginnings in rural Texas and hometown church choir into a critically acclaimed musical career that has taken her around the world and afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with a wide, diverse and eclectic list of notable musicians, such as Bonnie Raitt and Big Head Todd, and Warren Haynes and The Blind Boys of Alabama, and more.

Perhaps best of all, she still has her feet firmly on the ground.

Show starts at 7:30 p.m.; admission is $29 adults, $15 students, $5 RUSH at the door, day of the show. Purchase tickets online, www.sjctheatre.org, or at the SJCT Box Office. Info, 378.3210.

 

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