GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster released her ninth studio album Healing Time in November. We got to grab some time with Ruthie to chat about the album and more, see below.
1. Thanks for your time Ruthie, your ninth studio has just been released, how does it feel to be at that stage in your career?
Thank you! It feels great to have a new group of songs to sing and play in front of a live audience again. This particular project was very close to heart, being that my band family was involved from start to finish.
2. Is the title or the theme of the album as a whole inspired by looking ahead after the last few years and was there a specific trigger around healing which inspired the writing?
The title is more of a reflection of what we’ve all gone through in the last 2-3 years. Pandemic, losing of loved ones and how hard it hit in the music and creative community; along with losing and giving myself permission to grieve my longtime drummer’s passing. I felt it was time to recognize that and to share my own inner struggle with guilt, forgiveness and eventually emotional freedom.
3. Are these songs written from your own personal experience and if so, what were the challenges for you on a personal and career level you faced over the last few years?
Some were my experience and some were co-written or written by my other fellow writers, so not all were necessarily about my own personal experience. My challenges were few considering what so many others went through during the 2 years off from touring and making music.
4. Everyone will have gone through their own personal challenges what do you hope they get out of listening to the album, the themes and your music in general?
I hope that all who listen to this music come to realize that it’s important to ride “through” tough periods and roughs spots, and to not try to go around or avoid them. Someone once told me that there’s no escaping grief, it will wait for you. Also to recognize even the tiniest of good and appreciate it fully in your life experiences. Most important I hope that people realize how music heals and can even bear witness to your life; and when in doubt, turn it up and dance and sing it out!
5. How did writing this album help you in your own healing?
Making the decision to just start by listening to the body of work I’ve put into my writing during my career up to now was the kickstarter to deciding to write my own story. I pulled from some of my favorite songwriters for help. This project was healing and incredibly liberating in a way that I never saw coming.
6. Looking ahead though, you must be excited for the future now your ninth album is out. What are your plans to promote it in 2023?
Very excited. I still have a few solo shows I’d like to continue but there are also full band tours planned for next year in the US and abroad.
7. The last few years have allowed musicians time and space to explore who they are as an artist. How do you feel you have changed to the Ruthie Foster pre-lockdown?
It certainly did give me time to reflect and reevaluate my priorities in music and my family life. But it was also a busy time figuring out the balance of both. Plus I learned a lot about 4th and 5th grade math along with my daughter in her virtual classes!
8. Just for fun now, if you could choose any animal to be your permanent sidekick, what animal would it be and what would you do together?
I chose the swan. I like the idea of hanging out by the water and chilling all day while looking fabulous!
9. If you could go back to pre-lockdown, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Listen to the whisper and to my body’s immediate response when something feels important…because it’s all important.
10. Thanks for your time and good luck with the album. Just to finish, we’re nearing the end of 2022 but if we have this conversation again in twelve months, what do you hope to have achieved on a personal and career level?
I’m hoping to be working on more songs for another project.
Ruthie Foster is currently on tour through December – a full list of dates can be found below and tickets are available at ruthiefoster.com as well as the album and much more.