Setting seeds for Ruth’s solo career

Ruth Moody
Ruth Moody
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EVERYTHING in The Garden is blooming lovely for Ruth Moody.

For that is the title of her debut solo album which is released on January 16.

And it brings the former Wailin’ Jenny to Sheffield as part of a tour introducing the disc to fans.

And there are already quite a few fans around for Ruth’s work with alt-country, Billbord chart-topping trio Wailin Jennys created some of the most memorable music in the past few years.

But while work as part of a trio inevitably disguises some of an artist’s individual talents, she really does shine as a solo artist.

And there is no wonder. For she has a superb voice, is a brilliant instrumentalist and has impressive songwriting skills to match.

She said recently: “Gardens, like the seasons, are symbols of life and its cycles. They have always been magical places for me – where the tiniest seeds are planted and grow into beautiful expressions of life.”

So it makes sense that she should plant the seeds for her solo career with the title track on the new album. She added: “It was inspired by a theme from Voltaire’s Candide, the idea that we must work on our garden and make our little corner of the world beautiful, in whatever way we can.”

The Garden features under-stated banjo and stunning strings and harmonies. All in all, it is a perfect introduction to Ruth’s rich and vibrant new collection of songs.

Stretching beyond traditional acoustic sounds, the album creates memorable music through its use of organ, horns and pedal steel. You’ll be tapping your feet to tunes like Travellin’ Shoes and Closer Now while there are plenty of more spare tracks such as the traditionally-inspired Nest, the sensual Cold Outside and the poignant Never Said Goodbye.

An unexpected treat is the sweet and catchy duet We Can Only Listen, co-written with Matt Peters of The Waking Eyes.

For an idea of Ruth’s standing in msical circles, check out the people who agreed to play on the album, including neo-bluegrass band Crooked Still, Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), Luke Doucet, and a guest appearance by The Wailin’ Jennys.

Ruth Moody is a Juno Award winning songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

As stated earlier, she is well known as a founding member of The Wailin’ Jennys. She was also lead singer of the Canadian roots band Scruj MacDuhk, who would later become The Duhks.

She has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically- acclaimed albums and has appeared more than a dozen times on the internationally renowned radio show A Prairie Home Companion.

Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism (she plays guitar, banjo, accordion, piano, and bodhrán), and her talent as a songwriter.

She was a finalist in the 2004 USA Songwriting Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition for her song One Voice, which has become a signature song for The Wailin’ Jennys.

Ruth’s debut solo album The Garden received rave reviews in Canada and the US and was nominated for a Juno award for roots and traditional album of the year (solo) while the album’s title track was the fourth most played song of 2010 on North American Folk Radio.

The album was produced by Juno nominee David Travers-Smith.

Ruth Moody will be at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield on January 26.