2006 seems to be a year of significant anniversaries for several Blues and Roots Labels. There have been 25, 30, and 35 year, retrospectives from my friends and colleagues at Alligator, Blind Pig, and Story Plain this year. Compiling a retrospective collection provided me with a great opportunity to examine my company’s productivity and to take an objective look at my endeavours over the years since I established Ruf Records in 1994. You may ask, why do this after 12 years rather than 10 or 15? Well, I guess the number may not have much significance to many people, but I believe it to be important. I was born 12/12/65, 12 months make a year, 12 signs complete the various aspects of the ‘Wheel of Life’ in the Buddhist tradition, which interests me greatly. The number 12 has magic for me. To create this compilation I decided to work backwards from the present day. I examined my release schedules for each of the years I have been operating, and my aim was to find THE essential recording from every year, and to include a song from it here. This retrospective release also contains a DVD to mark our large-scale move into this new medium since 2004. I selected tracks from our many DVD releases, which include Aynsley Lister – ‘LIVE!’, The Imperial Crowns – ‘Preachin’ The Blues – Live’, Ian Parker – ‘…whilst the wind’, ‘Ana Popovic – ANA!’, Robin Trower – ‘Living out of Time’, and a particular favourite of mine, the highly creative, Bob Brozman – ‘Live in Germany’. 2006: As soon as I began looking at the present year’s release schedule, I realised that the notion that I could select one essential recording for every year would be very tough. In fact, I found it impossible to select only one album for 2006! Walter Trout’s “Full Circle”, has already enjoyed 15 weeks on the Billboard Blues Charts as I write this, and there is no end in sight to this current success. This album’s release marks a new chapter in my company’s presence in the US marketplace. Earlier in the year, the British press raved emphatically about Sue Foley’s ‘New Used Car’, calling it “a real hard hitting killer tool” (NAME). This type of response has not been unusual, and I personally think the record is wonderful. I simply could not leave it out. 2005: Strangely, I can hardly remember any of the details of this year’s output, but looking at the release schedule, it is easy to understand why! The 15 releases on this year’s schedule (probably 5 more than we could have ever hoped to handle on paper!) included 4 releases on the relatively new medium of DVD. This year also saw the launch of the Ruf Records touring brand ‘BluesCaravan.com’, so I guess I really did have my hands full, and worked flat out to divide my time between the office and the tour bus! I travelled with Sue Foley, Candye Kane and Ana Popovic for the first edition of Blues Caravan in which this exciting line-up played 56 successful shows throughout 14 countries, and provided the perfect launch for this new touring concept. As for the most significant releases of the year I once again felt compelled to include 2 artists! Candye Kayne’s “ White Trash Girl” was hailed as her best recording to date and received tremendous airplay in both Europe and the US. The album also won the accolade of “Best Album Cover” in the gay community. The other important release of this year was Ian Parker’s live record, ‘…whilst the wind’. Ian is a young gentleman, hailing from the UK with tremendous potential as a performer, vocalist and songwriter. 2004: This year saw something of a production boom in DVDs for us, a follow-up to our highly acclaimed Walter Trout DVD ‘Relentless’, which came out in 2003. After the release of Walter’s DVD it became apparent that very few blues artists have actually released DVDs, and that where they have, the production often lacks quality due to budget limitations. I guess it was our ambition to produce blues DVDs that could rival major label rock DVDs on quality, and to see that all of our artists had the opportunity to film a DVD. I would like to say a big thank you to our production partners, Rockpalast at WDR and Dutch View. Given that 5 of the 9 artists we released this year went on to release DVDs, and that many are represented on the DVD included in this compilation, I chose not to select any albums for this year. 2003: The pick for this year for me was Omar & The Howlers label debut album, “Boogie Man”. I regard this release as a landmark recording, which I feel highlights what can be achieved when a seasoned roadhouse performer pairs up with contemporary songwriters, and is brave enough to broaden his stylistic horizons. Omar came to us with a long recording history, which stood him in good stead, and I feel very proud of this fantastic record. 2002: This year saw a very light release schedule (only 8 releases) – all of them re-releases and live albums. I guess this is what happens when you run out of cash! Live recordings are cheap to make even if they don’t tend to sell as well as studio recordings. In all honesty, I don’t feel that there were any particularly significant releases in this year. However, whilst looking through the songs on each of this year’s releases I noticed a song on Larry Garner’s live album called ‘When the Blues turn black’. I think this is a great piece of song-writing and I wanted it to be featured on the compilation. I broke off from my original concept somewhat and decided to use the studio version of this song which appeared 2 years earlier on ‘Once upon the Blues’, which I prefer to the live version. Larry for me, is a good example of how cruel the business can be sometimes. He was regarded by ???? as being the “most important blues songwriter”, when he first appeared on the scene. His song-writing deals with contemporary issues rather than relying on well-worn “my baby took a train” type cliches. We signed Larry to a three-album deal, and worked hard to develop his career during that time, but sadly we never managed to sell his records in any significant numbers. 2001: One of the highlights of this year was our discovery of a young woman from Yugoslavia – the first European artist we broke in the US, as well as the first ever European to be nominated for a WC Handy Award, Ana Popovic. She performed “Love Fever” at the 2002 Handy Awards Show. Today Ana is a mainstay on the world stage, appearing regularly at the genres top festivals and in it’s most celebrated concert halls. Speaking of awards, our 2001 re-issue of Luther Allison’s 1992, all acoustic album, ‘Hand Me Down My Moonshine’ (he never toured the US with this one) got us a Handy Award for ‘Re-issue of the Year’. 2000: Not every year produced a classic, but again for this year, I could not make up my mind and I have therefore decided to represent 2 albums that I consider important in the history of Ruf Records. Aynsley Lister – our first developing artist from the UK who we signed in 1998 released his best selling album this year, which we finally released in North America in 2006. Good things come to those who wait! The other significant release of this year for me was Kevin Coyne’s ‘Roomful of Fools’, containing 100 % “on the spot” improvised music and lyrics, which was highly acclaimed in the press (“Without fanfare, Kevin Coyne has put out the album of the year”, Plain Dealer), but virtually ignored at retail, selling about 300 copies in the US. That’s showbizz I guess. 1999: This was a busy year with 10 releases. I picked a track from this year’s new arrivals at Ruf Records, the Woodstock legends, Canned Heat. Blues Man Robert Lucas had just joined the currant line up and it features the last recordings of the Heat line-up featuring Henry “Sunflower” Vestine. As Bob Hite would say at this point: Don’t forget to boogie! 1998: I decided to pass on a track from this year. 1998 saw 2 new arrivals at Ruf, Larry Garner (who is featured early on) and A. J. Croce, who opted to buy his masters back from us later on in order to seek pastures new. 1997: the last year of luther allison touring. He sadly passed away aug 12. his roaring last studio album “reckless” was the album prior to catching 2the bir time”.we releases this one stateside through alligator records and the album got us our first grammy nomination. I included a track of our acoustic duo friend n fellow –who toured with luther on his very last european tour. The track kind of sumarieses the emotions of this year: home 1996: a light release shedule due to the bancrupsy of our US distributo that almost pushed us down to the ground.on the upside, luther allison sweapt the W.C. handy awards,winning in 5 categories: best performer,best male artist,best album,song of the year 1995: In our second year of trading we managed to secure a distribution deal stateside and added our first North American staff member Ira Leslie, to handle Ruf Records sales + marketing on the other side of the pond. Bernard Allison, who started his own band a few years earlier after touring with his father during the early 1990’s signed to Ruf Records this year. His label debut ‘Funk If I Know’ marked the beginning of Bernard’s search for his own identity, and his successful bid to escape his father’s shadow. 1994: The European agent of Luther Allison started a record label for his rising blues hero. After serving my apprenticeship on the road with the man since 1989, opening my record label offered another avenue to promote the music and career of this extraordinary artist. From our very first release “Bad Love” (issued in the US as ‘Soul Fixin’ Man’ by Alligator Records) I chose to include ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ - a challenge that Luther issued to me very early on in our business relationship! Still today I can hear him speaking these words and see the intense look in his eyes as if it was yesterday. Thomas Ruf, September 2006 


Albert Castiglia
Solid Ground 
Katalognummer: RUF1201
EAN-kod:  710347120124 Format: CD Album-1

Ana Popovic
Katalognummer: RUF 1063
EAN-kod:  710347106326 Format: CD Album-1

Ana Popovic
Comfort To The Soul 
Katalognummer: RUF 1081
EAN-kod:  710347108122 Format: CD Album-1

Bart Walker
Waiting On Daylight 
Katalognummer: RUF1185
EAN-kod:  710347118527 Format: CD Album-1

Big Daddy Wilson
Thumb A Ride 
Katalognummer: RUF 1172
EAN-kod:  710347117223 Format: CD Album-1

Blandade Artister
Summertime Blues 
Katalognummer: RUF 1130
EAN-kod:  710347113027 Format: CD Album-1

Blandade Artister
BluesCaravan 2012 - Girls With Guitars Live 
Katalognummer: RUF1182
EAN-kod:  710347118220 Format: CD med DVD-2

Blues Caravan (Wilde/Fish/Taylor)
Girls With Guitars 
Katalognummer: RUF 1166
EAN-kod:  710347116622 Format: CD Album-1

Bob Brozman
Fire In The Mind 
Katalognummer: RUF1183
EAN-kod:  710347118329 Format: CD Album-1

Canned Heat
Friends In The Can 
Katalognummer: RUF 1066
EAN-kod:  7103471066233 Format: CD Album-1

Christina Skjölberg
Come And Get It 
Katalognummer: RUF1198
EAN-kod:  710347119821 Format: CD Album-1

Coco Montoya
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF1203
EAN-kod:  710347120322 Format: CD Album-2

Coco Montoya
I Want It All Back 
Katalognummer: RUF 1153
EAN-kod:  710347115328 Format: CD Album-1

Live 05 
Katalognummer: RUF 1162
EAN-kod:  710347116226 Format: CD Album-2

Live 05 
Katalognummer: RUF
EAN-kod:  99999 Format: CD Album-1

Cyril Neville
Magic Honey 
Katalognummer: RUF1192
EAN-kod:  710347119227 Format: CD Album-1

Dana Fuchs
Bliss Avenue 
Katalognummer: RUF1191
EAN-kod:  710347119128 Format: CD Album-1

Dana Fuchs
Love To Beg 
Katalognummer: RUF 1167
EAN-kod:  710347116721 Format: CD Album-1

Dani Wilde
Juice Me Up 
Katalognummer: RUF 1176
EAN-kod:  710347117629 Format: CD Album-1

Dani Wilde
Katalognummer: RUF 1163
EAN-kod:  710347116325 Format: CD Album-1

Devon Allman
Katalognummer: RUF1186
EAN-kod:  710347118626 Format: CD Album-1

Devon Allman
Katalognummer: RUF2010
EAN-kod:  710347201014 Format: Vinyl Album-1

Erja Lyytinen
Forbidden Fruit 
Katalognummer: RUF1188
EAN-kod:  710347118824 Format: CD Album-1

Erja Lyytinen
Dreamland Blues 
Katalognummer: RUF 1114
EAN-kod:  710347111429 Format: CD Album-1

Erja Lyytinen
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF 1179
EAN-kod:  710347117926 Format: CD med DVD-2

Erja Lyytinen
Grip Of The Blues 
Katalognummer: RUF 1141
EAN-kod:  710347114123 Format: CD Album-1

Erja Lyytinen
Voracious Love 
Katalognummer: RUF 1161
EAN-kod:  710347116127 Format: CD Album-1

Family Meeting
Family Meeting 
Katalognummer: RUF 1134
EAN-kod:  710347113423 Format: CD Album-2

Friend 'n Fellow
Katalognummer: RUF 1165
EAN-kod:  710347116523 Format: CD Album-1

Friend 'n Fellow
Katalognummer: RUF 2006
EAN-kod:  710347200611 Format: Vinyl Album-1

Jack Bruce&Robin Trower&Gary Husband
Seven Moons Live 
Katalognummer: RUF 1151
EAN-kod:  710347115120 Format: CD Album-1

Jeff Healey
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF 1150
EAN-kod:  710347115021 Format: CD med DVD-2

Jeff Healey
Mess Of Blues 
Katalognummer: RUF 1126
EAN-kod:  710347112624 Format: CD Album-1

Jimmy Bowskill
Katalognummer: RUF 1158
EAN-kod:  710347115823 Format: CD Album-1

Jimmy Bowskill Band
Back Number 
Katalognummer: RUF 1175
EAN-kod:  710347117520 Format: CD Album-1

Jimmy Bowskill Band
Back Number 
Katalognummer: RUF2008
EAN-kod:  710347200819 Format: Vinyl Album-1

Joanne Shaw Taylor
White Sugar 
Katalognummer: RUF 1147
EAN-kod:  710347114727 Format: CD Album-1

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Almost Always Never 
Katalognummer: RUF1181
EAN-kod:  710347118121 Format: CD Album-1

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Katalognummer: RUF 1164
EAN-kod:  710347116424 Format: CD Album-1

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF1197
EAN-kod:  710347119722 Format: CD med DVD-2

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Diamonds In The Dirt 
Katalognummer: RUF2009
EAN-kod:  710347200918 Format: Vinyl Album-1

Laurence Jones
Katalognummer: RUF1199
EAN-kod:  710347119920 Format: CD Album-1

Lightnin' Malcolm
Katalognummer: RUF 1170
EAN-kod:  710347117025 Format: CD Album-1

Louisiana Red
Memphis Mojo 
Katalognummer: RUF 1171
EAN-kod:  710347117124 Format: CD Album-1

Luther Allison
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF 1157
EAN-kod:  710347115724 Format: CD med DVD-2

Try Me 
Katalognummer: RUF 1156
EAN-kod:  710347115625 Format: CD Album-1

Feel Me 
Katalognummer: RUF 1177
EAN-kod:  710347117728 Format: CD Album-1

Meena Cryle & The Chris Fillmore Band
Tell Me 
Katalognummer: RUF1202
EAN-kod:  710347120223 Format: CD Album-1

Oli Brown
Heads I Win Tails You Lose 
Katalognummer: RUF 1160
EAN-kod:  710347116028 Format: CD Album-1

Oli Brown
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF1193
EAN-kod:  710347119326 Format: CD med DVD-2

Oli Brown
Here I Am 
Katalognummer: RUF 1178
EAN-kod:  710347117827 Format: CD Album-1

Omar & The Howlers
Essential Collection 
Katalognummer: RUF 1174
EAN-kod:  710347117421 Format: CD Album-2

Omar & The Howlers
Boogie Man 
Katalognummer: RUF 1093
EAN-kod:  710347109327 Format: CD Album-1

Omar & The Howlers
Muddy Springs Road 
Katalognummer: RUF 1105
EAN-kod:  710347110521 Format: CD Album-1

Omar Dykes&Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmy Reed Highway 
Katalognummer: RUF 1122
EAN-kod:  710347112228 Format: CD Album-1

Omar Kent Dykes
Big Town Playboy 
Katalognummer: RUF 1142
EAN-kod:  710347114222 Format: CD Album-1

Royal Southern Brotherhood
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF1194
EAN-kod:  710347119425 Format: CD med DVD-2

Royal Southern Brotherhood
Royal Southern Brotherhood 
Katalognummer: RUF 1180
EAN-kod:  710347118022 Format: CD Album-1

Samantha Fish
Black Wind Howlin' 
Katalognummer: RUF1195
EAN-kod:  710347119524 Format: CD Album-1

Samantha Fish
Katalognummer: RUF 1169
EAN-kod:  710347116929 Format: CD Album-1

Savoy Brown
Goin' To The Delta 
Katalognummer: RUF1196
EAN-kod:  710347119623 Format: CD Album-1

Savoy Brown
Songs From The Road 
Katalognummer: RUF1187
EAN-kod:  710347118725 Format: CD med DVD-2

Savoy Brown
Voodoo Moon 
Katalognummer: RUF 1173
EAN-kod:  710347117322 Format: CD Album-1

Skinny Molly
Haywire Riot 
Katalognummer: RUF1184
EAN-kod:  710347118428 Format: CD Album-1

Spin Doctors
If The River Was Whiskey 
Katalognummer: RUF2011
EAN-kod:  701347201113 Format: Vinyl Album-1

Spin Doctors
If The River Was Whiskey 
Katalognummer: RUF1190
EAN-kod:  710347119029 Format: CD Album-1

Thorbjörn Risager
Too Many Roads 
Katalognummer: RUF1200
EAN-kod:  710347120025 Format: CD Album-1

Walter Trout
Full Circle 
Katalognummer: RUF 1117
EAN-kod:  710347111726 Format: CD Album-1

Walter Trout
Katalognummer: RUF 1083
EAN-kod:  710347108320 Format: CD Album-1

Walter Trout
Relentless - The Concert 
Katalognummer: RUF 3003
EAN-kod:  710347300373 Format: DVD-1

Walter Trout
Go The Distance 
Katalognummer: RUF 1067
EAN-kod:  710347106722 Format: CD Album-1

Walter Trout
Live Trout 
Katalognummer: RUF 1051
EAN-kod:  710347105121 Format: CD Album-2

Walter Trout
Livin' Every Day 
Katalognummer: RUF 1035
EAN-kod:  710347103523 Format: CD Album-1

Wentus Blues Band
Wentus In Woodstock 
Katalognummer: RUF 1168
EAN-kod:  710347116820 Format: CD Album-1


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