Ruthie Foster’s celebrated 2009 LP, The Truth According To Ruthie Foster, was recorded in Memphis; for Let It Burn she migrated south to New Orleans. Working with producer John Chelew and a tight combo of inspired Crescent City players, she fashioned an album that resonates with...Memphis soul. Surging horns, gospel organ, churchy piano, velvety female background voices, and Ruthie channeling the smoldering spirituality of Mavis Staples all hearken back to golden days of Stax-Volt while sounding right on time for the 21st Century. She even brings back Stax legend William Bell— who’s sounding more like B.B. King every day—to duet with her on a bluesy, organ- drenched version of Bell’s landmark “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” An interpreter nonpareil, she re-imagines “Ring of Fire” as a torch ballad and tones down “If I Had a Hammer” for a time when the problems the song addresses seem intractable. The Blind Boys of Alabama add gravitas to Ruthie’s own self-affirming gospel testimony, “Welcome Home,” and buttress the foreboding ambiance of CS&N’s “Long Time Gone.” Thick and punchy, the sonics perfectly frame the singer’s imposing, soulful testifying on one of 2012’s first great roots albums.