Live at 3rd And Lindsley
Hurricane Ruth Records
Release Date: March 18, 2022
Management: The Galaxie Agency
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © March 2022
Having already reviewed a few of her previous six releases, and with her having a song on our Keeping The Blues Alive compilation CDs, Hurricane Ruth is a long time member of the Mary4Music family. Her seventh release is titled Live At 3rd And Lindsley, and coming from someone who has seen her live at least half a dozen times, I can testify that many of those present at 3rd And Lindsley on August 4, 2021, may never see a more dynamic show.
For the event, this very vibrant vocalist was accompanied by: Tom Hambridge, the albums producer and collaborator, on drums; Scott Holt and Nick Nguyen on guitar; Calvin Johnson on bass; Lewis Stephens on keys; and special guest Jimmy Hall on vocals and harmonica. Live At 3rd And Lindsley contains fourteen killer tracks of which eleven are originals.
If you’re going to rock the house, you might as well start immediately and Hurricane Ruth wastes exactly zero time taking care of that. Kicking off the show with “Roll Little Sister”, Ruth immediately establishes the fact that she is indeed a hard rockin’ woman – but I’ll get to that in a minute. For starters, the song kicks off with Tom and Calvin pounding out such a profound rhythm that even though I’ve come to expect it from these two, it still just blew me away; then you’ve got Scott and Nick slugging it out on lead and slide guitar like Ali and Frazier did during the greatest slug fest of all time – the “Thriller in Manilla” ; and on top of all that, Ruth’s most likely already at the high end of her heart rate…..and she’s just warming up.
In the above paragraph I used “Hard Rockin’ Woman” as a descriptive term for Ruth but it’s actually the title of this track and it’s also what I believe should be the title of her biography, should she ever write it. Should this hard rockin’ woman thing ever need validation, listening to these two tracks will surely suffice.
If you’ve ever been to a Hurricane Ruth show, you already know that during the show, Ruth will often make references to her mother – or as us regulars have come to know her – Miss Norma Jean. This one is about advice from her mom about never worrying about “What You Never Had”. As Ruth tells it:
“I never had no diamonds, I never had no gold.
I never had no money, to keep from going old.
No Maserati, no caviar, and no VIP tables at high class bars.”
On the other hand, this is how Norma Jean tells it:
“Why worry about what you never had, why worry about what you never had?
Life’s about living and not what you have, so why worry about what you never had?”
Because it’s a shuffle, it’s musically one of my personal favorites. It’s got that dynamite foot tappin’, head bobbin’ rhythm – that’s taken up a notch with the fabulous keyboard work by Lewis – that made me sit back from my keyboard and get into a groovy chair dance; smoking blues guitar licks; and of course Ruth singing the hell out of the blues.
As Ruth explains on the introduction of the next song – “Faith In Me”, is a brand new song by her and Tom that has never been recorded before. Immediately afterwards, Scott’s scorching blues guitar intro put one of those “oh yeah! Slow blues” smiles on my face. Sandwiched between verses of Ruth belting out some very emotional, soulful and gut wrenching blues vocals, Tom, Calvin, Lewis and Scott get into a mind blowing slow blues groove. Of course, crowd noise can be edited from live recordings but with what these guys were doing I doubt anyone would dare make a peep.
Since this song was first recorded by Fenton Robinson in 1959, the classic “As The Years Go Passing By” (Peppermint Harris) has been covered by so many legends of the blues. Aside from the original, some of my favorites were the renditions done by Albert King, Al Kooper, Gary Moore and Jeff Healy…just to name a few. That said, this crazy good version being done by Hurricane Ruth and Jimmy Hall is a shoo in for the list. For this traditionalist, this one was not only the best track on the disc, but it’s been the best seven-and-a-half minutes of my day, as well. Amazingly so, the very next track – “Make Love To Me” – which features Jimmy blowing the heck out of the harp, is another seven-and-a-half minute monster. I don’t know if this show had an intermission but if it did, this would be the time for it. Damn, even I need a rest.
As has become tradition, Hurricane Ruth always closes out all of her live shows with a tribute to her mom with a song called “Dance Dance Norma Jean”. With that hard driving rhythm sounding like a Canned Heat meets John Lee Hooker vibe, I guarantee that dance floor Norma Jean is boogieing on is a crowded one indeed. With the band in full scale jam mode behind her, Ruth’s in full scale hard rockin’ woman mode describing how her mother would be rocking out to the music of Little Richard, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Jerry Lee, Muddy Waters and B. B. King – all while cooking in the kitchen in her high heel shoes. If you haven’t yet figured this out, the moral to this story is the apple certainly did not fall far from the tree. Ruth – bigger than this song being a tribute to your mom is the fact you made us all wish we had known her. Rock on, Norma Jean.
Other tracks on this must have CD are: “Dirty Blues”; “Slow Burn”; “Cry Like A Rainy Day” (Greenberg/Barnhill); “Barrelhouse Joe’s”; “Make Love To Me”; “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination” (Goldberg/Goffin); “Like Wildfire”; and “Far From The Cradle”.
To find out more about Hurricane Ruth just go to her website – www.hurricaneruth.com. Of course, wherever you go and whomever you contact, please make sure you tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.
“The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy”
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
P. O. Box 9346
Coral Springs, FL 33075-9346
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient
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