Ruthie Foster can burn down any stage with her combustible mix of blues, soul, folk, rock and gospel.
The two-time Grammy Award nominee is performing her latest album, “Let it Burn,” and songs from her previous albums at the McCelvey Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the Southern Sound Series.
“It’s just gonna be a hallelujah time, and you don’t want to miss that,” said Foster, known for her powerful vocals, talented guitar playing and signature sound that cannot be classified in just one music genre.
She has risen from humble beginnings in the church gospel choir in rural Texas to cover songs with the U.S. Navy Band to her own albums with praise from the music industry. “Let It Burn” was recorded in New Orleans with some of the city’s most respected musicians.
Foster was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster.” Her album, “Let It Burn,” featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama and soul legend William Bell was nominated for the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album of the Year.
She is a multiple Blues Music Award winner, receiving the KoKo Taylor Award for Traditional Female Artist of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
Foster has been compared to Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Tracy Chapman.
Officials at the York County Culture and Heritage Museums say she embodies American roots music and she is a perfect fit for the Southern Sound Series.
“Ruthie has a dedicated following, and we've already heard from several of her fans who will be traveling to York from Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and other states to attend the concert,” said Stephen Crotts, CHM integrated marketing coordinator.
He believes Foster will love the McCelvey Center, a refurbished 1922 school with towering white columns and a 560-seat theater that visitors enjoy for its architecture and ambiance.
“Spending an evening in the intimate, historic setting of the McCelvey Center is a quintessential York County experience not to be missed,” Crotts said. “This weekend is a stellar opportunity to see and hear this venue at its best.”
On stage, Foster said she feels inspired.
“We try to bring the audience into the show,” she said. “I love performing live – that’s what drives the music.”