By Steve Cooke
If, like me, you saw in the New Year with Jools’ Hootenanny, you will have been treated to a stunning rendition of Well Alright by AATA friend, the Boogie Woogie Queen herself Ruby Turner.
If you missed it or would like to see it again, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p092br1y
Ruby has a New Year message for readers of this Column: ‘Live a life of kindness the rest will follow. God bless you and let’s hope for a year full of love optimism and grace’.
She achieved the rare feat, for a British singer, of reaching #1 on the US R&B chart, with "It's Gonna Be Alright" in February 1990. Between 1986–1995, eight of her singles appeared in the UK Singles Chart with "I'd Rather Go Blind" being the most successful, reaching #24 in 1987. Ruby performed at the Birmingham Heart Beat 86 concert, which featured George Harrison, and also from 2007 has sung on BBC Television's Jools' Annual Hootenanny.
Ruby is also known for her work as a session backing vocalist, artists she has worked with include Bryan Ferry, UB40, Steel Pulse, Steve Winwood, Jools Holland, and Mick Jagger. She has written songs that have been covered by artists including Lulu, Yazz and Maxi Priest.
As an actress she is known for her work on Love Actually (2003), The Jewel of the Nile (1985) and Hotel Babylon (2006).
Her recently released latest album, Love Was Here, is well worth seeking out.
The album was written and recorded over a period of 18 months between Jools Holland tours and shows out on the road with Ruby’s own band.
Says ruby: ‘This Album is one I’ve always wanted to make. The Feel and grooves I’ve heard and loved: Curtis Mayfield, BB King, Ry Cooder, The Reverend Al Green to name but a few. The opportunity came through the very lovely Chris Hession. He introduced me to Nick Atkinson and Kat Eaton; a dynamic, confident, and determined production team. Their writing and groove approach were irresistible. They ignited my desire to write again and I loved the creative process. For me, it’s all about writing and singing songs I really believe in. When you do that it makes you want to go that extra mile even when it looks like you’re the only one who believes in it.’