One Track Mind: Ruthie Foster, “Singing the Blues” from Promise of a Brand New Day (2014)

We have this lingering image of the doomed bluesman, the brokenhearted blues belter, offering a lament as their lives are headed down a dead-end street. And, certainly, Ruthie Foster has sung those kind things.

But “Singing the Blues,” the easy-swaying opening cut off her new album for Blue Corn Music, plumbs different emotions.

This is about that moment when music helps you past those times, when it provides the wind at your back to get through. When a smile — rueful, or not — curls up your face, despite the fates. When you realize, all at once, that it’s all going to be OK. Maybe not today, maybe not even tomorrow. But, soon.

Produced by bass player Me’shell Ndegeocello, Promise of a Brand New Day finds Foster catching that kind of heartfelt, upbeat groove throughout. But it’s here, as she croons a light-filled paean to the healing powers of song, that the stage is set.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at