Hurricane Ruth – Born On The River | Album Review

hurricaneruthcdHurricane Ruth – Born On The River

Self-Release – 2014

11 tracks; 58 minutes

From Beardstown, Illinois, Hurricane Ruth offers us a generously filled album of original blues rock material.  The band consists of Hurricane Ruth LaMaster on vocals, David Lumsden on guitar, Gary Davis on bass and Jim Engel on drums.  Ruth wrote all the lyrics and all four members of the band are credited with the music.  The CD also comes with a very nicely produced booklet with the lyrics and some vintage photos to accompany the songs, some of which appear to have been provided by family members.

Some of the songs appear to be autobiographical and we certainly know where Ruth is from as she sings the title “Born On The River” many times over in the extended opener, David’s heavy guitar riff chugging along with a menacing tone. Most of the songs here are fairly lengthy and we get plenty of opportunity to hear David’s muscular guitar riffs which are a central part of the band’s sound alongside Ruth’s strong vocals.  The following tracks are this reviewer’s pick of the bunch here:

Track 2 – “Make Love To Me”.  Ruth makes an offer that sounds hard to refuse on this mid-paced rocker with lashings of guitar throughout.  Lyrically it appears that Ruth has set aside her ‘good girl’ days and is overcome with desire for her new man: “before I set you free, make love to me”.

Track 8 – “Big Helen”.  A local ‘madame’ whose late-night provision of drinks and girls was ignored by the cops makes for an interesting story set to a brooding blues tune.

Track 9 – “Work It”.  The shortest cut on the album works very well, a song of determination sung with gusto by Ruth over a riff out of The Stones’ handbook.

Track 10 – “Whiskey Chute”.  A catchy rocker celebrates Friday night in the local hostelry over a Southern Rock riff.

This is a solid set of upbeat rocking blues which probably reflects the band’s live shows pretty well.

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