It’s hard to think of someone as talented and successful as Ruth Moody and feel like her songs are taken for granted. Somehow though, I do.
As one third of the Canadian institution The Wailin’ Jennys and an accomplished solo artist, Ruth has long outgrown the label of rising star of new artist. Unfortunately, in today’s 15-minute news cycle, that means she is often forced to take a back seat for new names, undeveloped potential and bigger pageview stats.
I’m not sure how, but somehow purity of sound is now a hard sell.
Ruth Moody’s new record, These Wilder Things, is polished, professional folk. It’s the result of years of touring and writing. It’s mature and worthy. The arrangements are not showy; they are simply fine tuned to support Ruth’s lovely voice. To hear these stories, from that voice, seems unfair.
Ruth (much like Rose Cousins or even Sarah Harmer) is a rare talent, but for some strange reason that talent isn’t universally acknowledged by new music fans. I’m exactly in her target demographic and even I had her new record in my “must review” list for weeks, and admit it was trumped by a few records that have no where near the staying power of These Wilder Things. The bottom line is that Ruth sings with passion, able to deliver smoldering heat or chilly heartache with equal success. She can share the mic with Mark Knopfler and not get overshadowed but she can also stand alone and reinforce that these songs don’t need the beautiful three part harmonies that often define her other outfit.
Ruth is the consummate singer/songwriter, but somehow that term has become somewhat of a dismissal, said softly with immediate disclaimer. “She’s a singer songwriter.. BUT!”
If you listen, really listen, to These Wilder Things, Ruth reminds you how enchanting that classification can be.