"You can't find it in a shout," Ruthie Foster wails on the fiery 2009 single "Truth!" Like the whole of her Grammy-nominated album The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, the performance has plenty of shouts and twists in a packed-to-the-rafters church, or maybe it's a juke joint full of the faithful who still have plenty of sinning to do. The Brazos Valley, Texas-born artist has spent a life singing her way inside the tradition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Aretha Franklin. It shows. Her body of work is deeply anchored in stone-cold gospel, soul and earn-it-to-burn-it singing.
Why You Should Go: Koko Taylor has passed on and the upcoming St. Louis date for Bonnie Raitt is sold out, so Foster (with touring mate Paul Thorn) is more than the next best thing. She's the real thing.