Conversation: Singer Ruthie Foster

BY Jeffrey Brown  March 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM EDT

Singer Ruthie Foster has roots that hark back to gospel and funk. She sang in her church back home in Texas and later on as part of a funk bank during a stint in the Navy. But her work is becoming increasingly known for her recordings and performances of blues and folk music.

Foster’s newest album is “Let It Burn,” which features collaborations with the Blind Boys of Alabama and other well-known musicians. The album includes several covers of songs by artists such as Pete Seeger, Crosby Stills and Nash, and even the classic, “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Foster in our newsroom:

Here’s Foster singing “Phenomenal Woman” from her CD/DVD “Live at Antone’s”: