Ruthie Foster

Ruthie Foster


A hybrid of blues, gospel, roots and folk music rich with honest spirituality and emotion. Her simply amazing vocal abilities have been compared to Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. She makes politically forthright music, as she is unabashedly honest about everthing, in an aesthetic way.


Ruthie’s passionate songs and scintillating live performances attract both the young and old for an uplifting experience of dancing, listening, laughing and even some crying; especially when Ruthie rounds out the joyous occasion with her versions of show-stopping gospel standards.

Ruthie’s performance highlights include PBS syndicated Austin City Limits, which has aired repeatedly; a tour of UK theaters; a tour of US theaters with Bo Diddley; The Strawberry Music Festival in California, the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Willie Nelson Picnic, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Folks Fest in Lyons, Colorado, Bass Concert Hall, the Waterfront Blues Festival in Oregon, the Tonder Festival in Denmark, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Austin City Limits Festival, and many others too numerous to mention.

Neither Ruthie nor the Blue Corn Music label and their distributor were prepared for the initial and sustaining demand for “Runaway Soul” since its release. CDs were flying off the shelves and in particular the stage. While on tour they sell an average of 100 CDs a night. “We spent a lot of time chasing down the Fed Ex truck while on tour trying to get our merch. It’s a good problem to have,” laughs the good natured and lovely Ruthie. While touring the Canadian Folk Festival circuit in the summer of 2002, Ruthie sold 1000 CDs in a day breaking a long-time record held by Ani DiFranco.

Raised in Gause, Texas, a small town 180 miles southeast of Dallas, Ruthie grew up surrounded by the rich, soulful sounds of gospel and blues. Her outstanding voice and superb original music have many influences including Sam Cooke, Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Sarah Vaughn, Etta James, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, although perhaps no one has influenced Ruthie like her mother, Shirley Jones, who urged her to “Open your mouth and sing, girl!”

Foster’s musical journey has taken her from McClennan Community College in Waco, Texas and a degree in commercial music to a four-year tour with the U. S. Navy Band “Pride”, to New York City and a contract with Atlantic Records. During her stay in New York, Ruthie appeared at many of the top venues in town opening and performing with artists such as Josh White, Jr., Matt “Guitar” Murphy, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Paul Schaffer.

In November of 1993, Ruthie received word from home that her mother, who had been quite ill, needed her. She left New York, Atlantic and her career in music behind and came home to College Station, Texas. She took a job working as a cameraperson and production assistant at the local TV station and spent her off hours caring for her mother.

During this time, Ruthie began singing and playing for some of the elderly people that she had met with her mother, and thus began a heartfelt dedication to giving back to the community that continues to this day.


Stages (a Live CD)
Runaway Soul
Full Circle

Set List

Please call the Nancy Fly Agency for details
(512) 288-2023