The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia
(UBC) presents Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Carrie Rodriguez, the Lone Star State’s diverse and celebrated songwriters on November 8 at 8pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Performing as part of the Texas Troubadours project, these three distinctive voices come together for the first time to swap songs and collaborate.“I have always wanted to present a Texan songwriter circle,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “Texas is a hotbed of great music where some of the most legendary and beloved songs have been produced. I was particularly drawn to these three artists: not only because they are superb performers and writers, but also because—more than any other grouping I have seen to date—they are so beautifully reflective of the diversity of Texan artists working in this genre today. Each will offer a different take on their home state’s songwriting tradition as one exceptional trio.”
Born and raised in the small town of Gause, Texas, Ruthie Foster has been described by Rolling Stone as “pure magic to watch and hear.” Taking inspiration from such singers as Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, she developed her own soulful sound tied to several southern-rooted styles. After her short stint serving with the Navy and living in New York, the music drew Ruthie back to Texas where she was soon snapped up by label Blue Corn Music. With Blue Corn, she recorded three GRAMMY- nominated albums: The Truth According to Ruthie (2010), Let it Burn (2012), and Promise of a Brand New Day (2014). In 2017, Foster released Joy Comes Back, an album showcasing her power-house voice on honest and heartfelt songs blending blues, folk, soul and gospel.
Hailing from the West Texas town of Lubbock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s career spans more than five decades. Like Foster, his inspired music cannot be categorized but combines elements of folk, rock, country, blues and bluegrass. Growing up, Gilmore’s first musical memories were of his father playing honky-tonk guitar in a bar band. Later, he remembers influences such as Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Gilmore went on to form his own group, The Flatlanders, with childhood friends, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely. Together, they are often credited as founders of the modern alt-country movement. Gilmore pursued his first solo project, Fair & Square (1988), and from there recorded several more albums which brought international success, and resulted in Rolling Stone naming him ‘Country Artist of the Year’ for three consecutive years. His latest solo album, Come on Back (2005), was dedicated to the memory of his late father, and garnered him a GRAMMY nomination.
Carrie Rodriguez, an Austin native, began her musical journey as a classical violin prodigy, having by the age of 10 already performed at Carnegie Hall. Following a year studying in the classical department at Oberlin Conservatory, she pledged herself to her true love: the fiddle. Rodriguez’s career took flight when she joined forces with Chip Taylor (the songwriter of Angel of the Morning and Wild Thing) to produce four critically-acclaimed duet albums. Since then, she has recorded five solo albums, each filled with her signature fiery fiddle playing, stirring vocals and vibrant sound drawn from her proud Mexican-American heritage. For her latest release, the 2016 Spanish-English album Lola, Rodriguez looked to the legacy of her great aunt –1940s-era Chicana singing sensation Eva Garza.
The album was recognized by NPR as one of 2016’s top 30 releases. The show is at the Chan Centre at UBC on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 8pm. Find tickets here!