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Phenomenal Woman, That’s Ruthie Foster

Throughout her career of over twenty years, Ruthie Foster has performed on countless stages around the world, and more recently, she was one of the featured guests on the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea V cruise. On board, along with her stellar performances on the main stage, she also hosted the Campfire Sessions, a live Q & A where she and several other artists shared insight into their songwriting process and delighted the audience with acoustic performances.

Like many before her, Ruthie Foster began singing in her hometown choir of Gause, Texas, and comes from a family of gospel singers, an inspiration that has certainly influenced her style. In college, she studied music and audio engineering, and during her tour of duty sang for Pride, Navy Band Southeast’s popular music group. With a soulful mix of blues, gospel, folk, and jazz, her first album, Full Circle, came in 1997, and she’s been recording and touring ever since.

Ruthie Foster has the kind of voice that feels warm and familiar, even from the first time you listen to her, and in this October 2017 performance at the Tivoli Vredenburg in the Netherlands, she gives us some of her best. “Phenomenal Woman” is a poem by Dr. Maya Angelou and has been recited many times since, but Ruthie gives it new life in her rendition, which appeared on her 2008 album aptly titled The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. In a song that speaks of a self-confident woman, Foster exudes certainty and poise, with the same grace as always, accompanied by her invariably smooth guitar stylings; a true example of phenomenal women and blues musicians everywhere.

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