Ruby Turner is a national and international treasure, having already been awarded with the prestigious Gold Badge Award, for her contribution to British music. Anyone who saw her tear the roof off Ronnie Scott’s, and her other headline gigs this year, knows just how special she really is. Jools Holland and his legions of fans know it: he has Ruby as his star vocalist in his widely-loved Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, who are touring extensively again. Radio listeners know it, loving her lead vocals on Jools’ ‘The Informer’ and making it a 2008 airplay hit and her cover of “This Train” which shot straight onto Radio 2’s playlist in 2009. So do admirers of breakthrough blues troubadour Seasick Steve, after Ruby’s shining appearance on ‘Happy Man,’ from his gold-certified ‘I Started Out With Nothin’ and I Still Got Most Of It Left.’
The lady herself is too modest to brag about her decades of experience on all kinds of stages and screens, seven hit singles including a definitive version of ‘I’d Rather Go Blind,’ three chart albums or her prestigious US R&B No.1, ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright.’ Her most reason album was “I’m Travelling On”, Ruby’s interpretations of Gospel classics, released in 2009.
‘I’m Travelling On’, released on her own RTR label, is the record we always hoped she would make, on which she takes her favourite, time-honoured gospel tracks, previously sung by such giants of the genre as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Brother Joe May, The souls stirrers and Mahalia Jackson.
Born in Jamaica, Ruby came to the UK with her mother when she was just nine. “My grandfather was a gospel singer, I was told by my father. Sadly I never knew him.” But that might explain my love of singing. My brother, who’s three years older, came to visit from the States and saw