Sound and the Fury


How can you tell that Ruthie Foster’s new CD is a breakthrough work for her? Just consider that the disc is called The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. No artist as self-effacing and self-aware as Foster would agree to such a boastful title (though the idea apparently came from her record label) unless she believed she had experienced some kind of creative epiphany.

For Foster, that means a change from the sensitive folk-and-blues material she’s become associated with, and making an all-out, old-school soul move. The album is loaded with Hammond B3 organ and Ray Charles-era Wurlitzer, and Foster admits to channeling the legendary voices of Al Green and Sam Cooke at various points.

The Austin-based Foster begins her San Antonio push for Phenomenal with a Thursday, January 11 free performance at the McNay Art Museum’s Leeper Auditorium (6000 N. New Braunfels). Her new album hits stores on February 6 on Blue Corn Music.


Aside from its use of the six-string guitar and adherence to a do-it-yourself work ethic, SA metal band Kalhalla has absolutely nothing in common with Ruthie Foster. But, like Foster, they’re gearing up to plug a new album. The band’s latest release, Darkside of the World, features a black-and-white lunar eclipse image on the cover, and its lead track, “Zero Tolerance, “ is a grinding monster with leader Robert Benson’s characteristic bowels-of-hell  bellows.

Benson formed an early incarnation of the band in 1989 at the age of 13, and over the years, he’s become  a tireless networker and marketer for his band’s music. Along those lines,  he’ll be taking Kalhalla on a 13-city American trek as part of a Monster Jam Monster Truck Tour. The band will also cash in some of its international connections by playing 22 overseas club and in-store dates (including stops in Russia, Japan, and China). Darkside of the World will be available on January 30.       

Scroll to read more Music Stories & Interviews articles
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.