Saturday, July 18, 2020

#454 : Hurricane Ruth - Good Life


2020 – American Showplace Music

By Phillip Smith; July 18, 2020 

There’s no escaping the powerful voice and fierce style of Hurricane Ruth LaMaster in Good Life, her fifth and latest album.  Her fearless approach to singing the blues takes a backseat to none.  Produced by Ben Elliot (Savoy Brown, Leslie West, Hubert Sumlin) who sadly passed away April 5, 2020, this ten-track album comprised mostly of original songs features Scott Holt on guitar, Calvin Johnson on bass guitar, Bruce Katz on B3/keys, and Tony Braunagel on drums.

 A t-shirt I purchased from guitarist Scott Holt seven years ago at a favorite blues-hangout called Checkers Tavern in Cedar Rapids, Iowa says, “Loud is Good!”.  Loud is indeed good, and that’s the apparent mantra from the git-go with the high-energy opener “Wildfire”.  With Katz pounding the keys, and Holt ripping it up on guitar, Hurricane Ruth gives a riveting performance on the mic.  The music gets even hotter and out of control on “Dirty Blues”.  I love it.  Written by two-time Grammy winning producer Gary Nicholson, “Torn in Two” is an excellent vehicle for Ruth’s hardscrabble style.  While the band is absolutely cooking, she takes this song by the horns and wrestles it to the ground.  There’s a hard-rocking Suzi Quatro-esque vibe on “Black Sheep” which I simply adore.  This reflective ode to Ruth’s younger badass self is a definite favorite.  “Who I Am” is a killer track with lots of tasty jam.  A deep heavy pulse from Braunagel and a funky taste of keys from Katz opens the song as Ruth sings about leaving her partying days behind.

Hurricane Ruth packs a fistful of gusto into Good Life, delivering yet another rock-solid record of blues.  It’s definitely an album which I will keep in rotation for a while.     

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : hurricaneruth.com

 

 

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