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Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 12:03 am

Hurricane Ruth and more

Hurricane Ruth plays at Third Base Sports Bar on Friday, Sept. 22, from 8-11:45pm.


With all the hurricanes in the news lately, we humbly send our love and care to those affected by the sea storms, but today we talk a bit about a hurricane known to central Illinois folks as Ruth.

Ruth LaMaster, born and raised in Beardstown, just released a powerhouse new CD called Ain’t Ready for the Grave, and the metropolitan St. Louis resident is justifiably proud of her work. The recording, produced in Nashville by Grammy Award-winner, blues great, drummer and songwriter Tom Hambridge, contains 12 songs, mostly penned by Ruth or with co-writers, backed by some of the top players in the blues world today.

“I feel this is my best work to date. I’m very blessed to have been introduced to Tom. I did a 2 ½ hour interview with him before he decided to do the record,” she said. “You only go around once and I feel like I’m getting a second chance. I am very excited to be accepted by a producer of this caliber.”

Hurricane Ruth was very popular in the Midwest blues and rock worlds a few decades ago and is now coming back full speed ahead. Signed to the prestigious, Nashville-based Galaxie Agency, she has Gina Hughes, the president of the organization, backing her all the way.

“With Ruth’s amazing voice, a track list of fantastic songs, the skillful producing of Tom Hambridge, and the backing of some of the best players around, we think Ain’t Ready for the Grave is going to bring Ruth the attention she deserves,” Hughes said. “We at Galaxie are excited to help her make that happen.”

On Friday, Ruth brings a killer band to Third Base for her “Blues at the Base” show, including longtime collaborator and guitarist David Lumsden. Her last few Springfield visits were reunion shows (and she “loved them”), but this is about Ruth doing the songs and sounds from her new album. She’s in St. Louis on Thursday at the National Blues Museum, Saturday at The Shed in Saybrook, Illinois, and finishes up her run on Sunday at the Wichita Blues Society Blues Crawl in Kansas. She’s scheduled for a big showcase during the International Blues Challenge on Feb. 2, 2018, at B.B. King’s in Memphis to introduce (after all these years) her spectacular voice, indomitable spirit and creative energy to the rest of the world of blues venues and promoters who’ve yet to feel the power of Hurricane Ruth.

In case you haven’t noticed all the hot rod cars and blocked-off streets by the time you read this, the Route 66 Mother Road Festival is here. Live music happens on the official stage at Sixth and Washington streets on Friday night and all day Saturday, and the Recycled Records unofficial (those rebels!) stage in front of the store on Saturday afternoon features Stuart Smith, Mark McKnight and Rob Killam kicking out the jams. Honk, honk.

On Friday night, come celebrate the return of Joe and Joey Tenuto to Springfield at Capital City Bar & Grill. Welcome back J and J, as it’s always a good time to see father and son making it happen on the guitars and being sure the good times are rolling for everyone concerned.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., BookStock returns to the Jacksonville Public Library, held outside behind the cool, old Carnegie building. I kick the day off at 10, and top notch singer-songwriters Stone & Snow, Linda McRae (an award-winning force of nature from Canada), Ben Bedford and the Grimm Family Band fill out the musical entertainment. Bring a lawn chair and your listening self to enjoy a beautiful day of music out of doors.

Until next week…

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.


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