What's on your rider? Ruthie Foster

Fri, Jul 27, 2012, 01:00

What’s on your rider?Fruit, water, coffee, tea, chips and salsa, nuts, sandwich stuff, red wine. We like to keep it simple.

What would be on your fantasy rider?Bushel of BBQ Lays chips (all the calories and salt removed), chocolate- covered strawberries, chilled Grey Goose vodka on tap, and a massage therapist.

What’s your pre-gig ritual/ routine?Meditation, guitar tuning and re-stringing, and dinner with the band.

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?Ella Fitzgerald, Radio City Musical Hall, 1990. I went to the gig instead of paying my power bill that month and it was more than worth having candlelight for the month.

Who is the most famous person to have shown up at one of your gigs?Bonnie Raitt occasionally pops in when we are in San Francisco. I’ve gotten to sing with her a few times, which is an honor.

Most embarrassing on-stage moment?I played a gig at a nudist colony once and had not enough sleep and too much tequila on top of 100-degree weather, and I tripped on my mic cord and fell off the stage into the nudist audience on the dance floor. Luckily I saved my guitar and didn’t fall on it!

What’s your crowd-pleasing number?Travelin’ Shoes is a good one to close with, We like to do a little Bob Marley, too; that seems to get people movin’ and groovin’.

How big is your entourage?My entourage is one: my tour manager, Lauren. We keep it down to earth and real.

Any useful stage tips?No tequila until after the set.

Who’s invited to your aftershow party?Prince, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Winnie the Pooh. (We put these people on our guest list frequently, still waiting for them to come!)

What’s your best tour story?Most recently we flew in for a festival in New York and my flight was deferred back to its connection in Chicago, and then delayed, causing me to miss the first 30 minutes of our gig. The band played without me, rocked the house, while I was tuning my guitar in the van on the way from the airport. We are amazing improvisors – I hit the stage with 20 minutes left in the gig, and tore the roof off the place. It was an incredible evening, despite all the challenges put in front of us.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea. Ruthie Foster plays Whelan’s, Dublin on Tuesday

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