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Track Two, ‘Hard Rockin’ Woman’ is an aptly titled powerhouse performance, a statement of intent with Illinois-born Ruth approaching the power of Tina Turner in her prime and maybe a tinge or two of Janis Joplin. Mind you, the opening ‘Barrelhouse Joe’s’ brought Koko Taylor to mind, so yes, we can be pretty sure that Ruth can roar out the blues with the best of them. Things become a little quieter for ‘Far From The Cradle’, with electric slide guitar the main accompanying instrument over a nicely subtle rhythm section (Michael Rhodes on bass and producer Tom Hambridge on drums). ‘Esteline’ and ‘Beekeeper’ are fine mid-tempo blues, before things slow down impressively on ’My Heart Aches For You’. ‘Cheating Blues’ is a strong riposte to a no good man, AC/ DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ fits in nicely, with its full-on, take no prisoners, hard rock approach and ‘For A Change’ is sparse and moody, though again with excellent slide work. The album closes out with the solid blues shuffles of ‘Let Me Be The One’ and the strutting ‘Good Stuff’ before Ruth takes us to church with the bluesy ‘Yes I Know’. A mightily impressive end to a mightily impressive album.
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