Songstress and Miami native Sol Ruiz seems to go by a lot of monikers--Neo Hippie Rain Maker of Cuban decent and flower child of Psychedelic Cuban Blues, just a few of them (though admittedly the most catchy). The later is probably the closest thing to pass for a description of an artist as easy to label as trying to catch wind in a bottle.
The Cuban essence is there, son underlying her own music just as it does nearly all the music actually from her native country. But there's much, much more than homage to her heritage. There's jazz from the golden era of the genre, when throaty, smoky voiced sirens lit smokier still clubs afire with their seductive vocals. And the blues run rampant. Her bio says she channels Billie Holiday, Celia Cruz and Janis Joplin. Listen to her music and you become a believer, instantly converted to her gospel of classic sounds and varied styles presented with a new and unique twist.
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Sol Ruiz performs Upstairs at the Van Dyke Café today, Monday, September 14. No cover.