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World Cafe Nashville: Ruby Amanfu

Ruby Amanfu.
Courtesy of the artist
Ruby Amanfu.

Ruby Amanfu is a treasured member of Nashville's creative community and a star on the rise. Born in Ghana, she moved with her family to Nashville when she was 3; her musical gifts emerged soon after. She has one of the most varied resumes of any Nashville performer, having sung with everyone from the Nashville Symphony Chorus to Kelly Clarkson to Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard to Jack White — Amanfu was a member of White's all-woman band, The Peacocks, and duetted on his hit "Love Interruption."

Her most recent solo album is 2015's Standing Still, which included her version of Brandi Carlile's "Shadow On The Wall," featured on the new Carlile tribute album Cover Stories. For this set, Amanfu performs that and two unreleased songs. She's joined by Jeremy Fetzer and Spencer Cullum, Jr., otherwise known as Steelism — a guitar and pedal-steel duo known as a secret weapon for myriad Nashville artists and for its own recordings, including the album ism, out June 23.

Copyright 2017 XPN

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.