On Friday 5th February 2010 I had the real privilege of seeing Ruby Turner live. It was a last-minute thing for me following my regular e-mail from the Theatre Royal in York. I had heard of Ruby a long while ago (I am a music anorak don’t forget!) in particular for her excellent contribution to Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. She referred to him as Jools or Mr Holland, that’s a sign of how close she is to him 😉
Ruby writes or co-writes many of her own songs, which incidentally ws something I didn’t know. Some of those songs are truly amazing, especially the appropriately named “So Amazing”. However for me she really excelled in both her choice and performance of covers. Starting with the oft covered “I’d Rather Go Blind“. I first heard this song in a version by Rod Stewart in the early 70s. Ruby’s version is exquisite, especially when she goes into a capella mode.
But she surpassed herself with her version of Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me” which remains one of my most favourite songs ever. Ruby really does the song justice (unlike David Essex’s cover from many moons ago!) Her encore was an excellent version of the Staple Singers classic “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” which she used as a superb way of showcasing her band which had talent to spare.
If you get the chance to see Ruby live DO NOT waste it. In my opinion she is the nearest modern-day equivalent to Aretha Franklin. Ruby was also born in the same year as me (1959 fact fans!) , so no wonder she is so talented! 😉