Cool, Classy and Astute Americana/Country Crossover.
I’m way behind with my reviews, because of the Corona Virus ‘lock-down’ ……Mrs. Magpie is strictly monitoring the time I spend on the computer when I’m at home; and apparantly in the real world I’m deemed to be a ‘Key Worker’ so still have to face danger every day.
But; there’s always time for great music, isn’t there?
I’d never heard of New Yorker Ruthie Collins before receiving this CD; but I was pretty sure the contents were going to fit my mood on Saturday as soon as I saw the picture on the cover; and I was right.
Ooooohhhh opening track, Joshua Tree is absolutely lovely. ‘Lovely’ isn’t a word I use very much; but I can’t think of a better word to describe this luscious and cinematic nod to Gram Parsons; but her words and imagery will touch the hearts of star-crossed lovers the world over.
Why I’ve never heard of Ruthie before is baffling; because this is her third album in 6 years and everything about her, from the razor-sharp songwriting through her honeyed and ‘lived in’ voice coupled to an uncanny likeness to a young Linda Ronstadt appeals to every bone in my body.
Her songwriting really is top drawer, as she can conjure up amazing pictures with words in Untold, Cheater and not least the title track Cold Comfort which all lend themselves to quite literal videos.
The list of female singer-songwriters that Ruthie Foster reminds me of is as long as my arm, so I won’t bore you with comparing and contrasting; but when you hear Hey Little Girl and Wish You Were Here (NO! It’s not a Pink Floyd cover) or Change, many names will pop into your head; but instantly disappear as Ruthie Foster is very much her own woman and defies lazy comparisons. She’s the real deal.
Choosing a Favourite song was quite easy to begin with, as I quickly fell in love with Dang Dallas; a dark and dusty tale of long distance love that had me dipping my head towards the speakers to pick out the beautiful words.
Then; I made the mistake of introducing the album to Mrs. Magpie (who has now ensconced the CD in her car!) and a couple of days later told her of my choice. The look she gave me would have curdled milk!
“What about Bad Woman?” She asked incredulously.
“Yeh, it’s good.” I responded, only to realise that I was obviously wrong to have an opinion, so now the Official RMHQ Favourite Song is the heart breaking, pensive and almost tear inducing Bad Woman, with its beautifully sweeping strings and wistfully powerful vocal performance.
This is the type of Country Music that will appeal to Olde Timers who are stuck in the past, young Pop Country fans and most of all; the cool kids like you and I who are drawn to well constructed, interesting and ‘really cool’ songs by someone who makes every word and note ‘believable.’
Released April 3rd 2020.