Featured Label: Ruf Records
Ruf Records is a German independent record label which was founded in 1994 by Luther Allison’s manager, Thomas Ruf, to promote Allison’s career. The motto of the blues label is “Where Blues Crosses Over”.
Past and present artists include Luther Allison, his son Bernard Allison, Louisiana Red, Eric Bibb, Canned Heat, Skinny Molly, Kevin Coyne, Sue Foley, Friend ‘n Fellow, Larry Garner, Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, Candye Kane, Imperial Crowns, Omar & The Howlers, Aynsley Lister, Ian Parker, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Dani Wilde, Oli Brown, Ana Popovic, Spooky Tooth, Samantha Fish, Walter Trout and Erja Lyytinen.
Thomas Ruf explains the beginnings of Ruf Records:
It all started in the Black Forest, late at night, when it seems all great things begin.
There in a small village bar, with the doors locked, window shades rolled down, an after-hours party was happening inside. Blues great, Luther Allison was jamming with a bunch of eighty-year old Black Forest folklore musicians. I was young, lucky and overwhelmed by the communicating power of music. I left the farm to pay my dues as a concert promoter, agent and manager. Soon I collaborated with Allison, eventually becoming his representative on the European side of the world. I was a student learning from a man who traveled the rocky blues road for more than thirty years. It became apparent that relationships between artists and record companies can be frustrating for the artists, with companies lacking enthusiasm and understanding of the music.
So management had a baby and it was named Ruf Records. Born of the need and love to promote what we believe in… the communicating power of music.
Now more than 20 years and 200 releases later, I couldn’t be happier. And with all the terrific artists on the Ruf Records roster, we will continue to grow. Ruf Records is the label of choice for Bernard Allison, Canned Heat, Sue Foley, Candye Kane, Aynsley Lister, Omar and the Howlers, Royal Southern Brotherhood and the irrepressible Walter Trout.
In 2012, Ruf Records signed the Royal Southern Brotherhood an all-star band which featured the Grammy Award winning Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooton and Yonrico Scott. The band was based in New Orleans and released their first recording Royal Southern Brotherhood in the summer of 2012. John Wirt of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana newspaper The Advocate wrote “Zito and Allman also play twin guitar leads that recall, of course, the dual guitar leads played by his uncle, Duane, and Dickey Betts in the Allman Brothers Band.”
For Royal Southern Brotherhood, Don’t Look Back, their upcoming album out on the 22nd June, isn’t just an album title, but the attitude that drove the award-winning US band’s third release. Tracked at the iconic Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with an all-guns-blazing new guitar lineup and production team, this is the sound of a band rolling with the punches and turning the page.