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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ruthie Foster @ San Juan Community Theatre, Friday Harbor, WA

I was home alone. My father had his massive Itunes collection on shuffle, a Ruthie Foster song began to play and I did a double-take. I then made short work of the three albums he had. I went on her website and found that she was making three tour stops o the San Juan Islands. I knew we had to go.

The day began with a workshop, which turned out to be more like a mini-concert. The open and relaxed Ms. Foster gave insights into her writing and singing processes, and played requests for the small audience lucky enough to know of the workshop.

The evening performance appeared to be a near sell-out of the intimate and quaint San Juan Community Theatre. My description of the theatre should not indicate a low-key show. A stand-out moment was "People Grinnin' in your Face" in which Ms. Foster made her way into the crowd without missing a beat.

There were many times where it felt a bit like church. At the end, Ms Foster received a well-earned standing ovation, and I got the sense that a few in the crowd were subscribers to the theatre who had little idea what to expect, only to be stunned by passionate, sweet, utterly dynamic voice they heard. Heck, I knew what to expect, and I was pretty stunned, too.

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