Hurricane Ruth – Live at 3rd and Lindsley
Hurricane Ruth Records
Hurricane Ruth is a blues rocker from the old school, singing with power and a unique sound. Recorded live in Nashville and produced by Tom Hambridge, this is a hard-driving, rocking blues show captured for all to hear.
In addition to Ruth on vocals, we have Hambridge on drums, Scott Holt and Nick Nguyen on guitars, Calvin Johnson on bass, Lewis Stevens on Keys and special guest Jimmy Hall on vocals and harp on a couple of tracks. It’s a hot, rocking affair! Hurricane Ruth had a hand in writing 11 of the 14 tracks and Hambridge assisted in 5 of them, a fresh and new album of cool songs.
The set opens with “Roll Little Sister,” a tune that easily could come from a rock band in the 1970’s. Ruth blazes through the vocals and the guitars play an equally big role here. “Hard Rockin’ Woman” continues in that vein , another hard rockin’ song done by some hard rockin’ folks having a good old time. We get into some slower blues next with “What You Never Had.” Ruth handles the vocals nicely and Stevens does well in support on the organ. Next is “Dirty Blues,” a slick blues rocker with a great groove and some more seet guitar soloing. “Faith In Me” follows, a slow, bluesy ballad performed with feeling and with a tastefully restrained guitar solo, too. “Slow Burn” builds into a burning hot number with blistering guitar and hot vocals. The tempo gets turned down a few notches with the cover “Cry Like A Rainy Day” where Ruth shows her softer side to start before building a bit, another tasteful guitar solo is featured here; well done!
“Barrelhouse Joe’s” is next up, a party time song with a rousing beat and featuring some barrelhouse piano to make things even better. Hall appears on harp and vocals with Ruth on the classic “As The Years Go Passing By,” with some greasy guitar and harp to savor here. Nicely done! Hall continues in harp support on Ruth’s cut “Make Love To Me,” another bouncy and fun number. Barry Goldberg’s 1973 “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination” (co-written by Bernie Goffin) is up next, and Ruth makes it her own. More stellar guitar work helps make this even better. “Like Wildfire” follows, an uptempo and rocking cut that must have had them up dancing. Piano and guitar solos spice things up sweetly. Next is “Far From The Cradle,” which opens with some slide and is a deliberate, slow and sultry blues. Piano support is again well done in this cool, slow blues. Ruth honors here Momma with “Dance Dance Norma Jean,” a song she closes all her shows with. It’s a great boogie woogie tune and Ruth and the band obviously enjoy performing it. A couple more guitar solos are featured here, too; what’s not to like?
I was impressed with the set from top to bottom. Lots of great new tunes, a few slick covers and an enthusiastic live performance make this a fun listen. Ruth showcases her vocal and songwriting talents and has a great set of musicians backing her up. I really enjoyed this and all blues rock fans will, too.