Ruth Moody

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Ruth Moody

You don’t have to be among the music cognoscenti to know Australian-born Ruth Moody is an exceptional talent. She is a two-time Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter and a founding member of the internationally celebrated folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys and this month she returns to her home away from home for the first time in nearly a decade. Forte had the chance to catch up with the lovely lady of folk as she wrapped up the European leg of her tour.
“Needless to say, we are pumped!” Ruth says excitedly in regard to her up-coming countrywide tour. “I was born in Queensland and my parents are Australian, but they moved back to Canada (they lived there before) when I was under a year old.”
Winnipeg, Manitoba is where Ruth grew up and spends her downtime – that is, when she’s not touring the world. “We’ve been in Europe playing shows in the UK, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It’s been a blast, but we’re ready for some sun!” she confesses. “I’m bringing an amazing band with me – Adrian Dolan on fiddle, viola, mandolin and mandola, Adam Dobres on acoustic and electric guitars and Sam Howard on upright bass. They all sing, too.”
As a solo artist Ruth has released two critically acclaimed albums, The Garden (2010) and most recently These Wilder Things in 2013. With both LPs produced by influential Canadian engineer David Travers-Smith, Ruth showcases her extraordinary versatility. “He [Travers-Smith] is a giant creative force himself – so great to work with. He gets inside the music in ways no one else I know does. A genius with sound and so dedicated to his craft. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
These Wilder Things was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards, and in April 2012 Ruth won first prize in the International Songwriting Competition’s Gospel Category for her song ‘Storm Comin’’, adding to her slew of awards. “It’s always nice to receive those honours. It’s something that is seen by people outside of the music community as an accomplishment and it can make people take notice … It’s not everything, though,” Ruth adds.
“The best feeling of success or achievement that I can think of is that which comes from writing a new song or coming up with a new creative idea or collaborating with your bandmates and creating something that everyone is excited about.”
One collaborative partnership Ruth is looking forward to continuing is with Dire Straits’ seminal lead guitarist and co-founder Mark Knopfler. He guested on These Wilder Things and toured as part of her all-star band in Europe. “I just sang on his new record, which is called Tracker. It’s coming out in March. I’m thrilled about that. It’s such an honour to be a part of his music. We’ll be opening a few more shows with him this coming summer in London and Paris.”
Ruth will play an intimate and interactive (she hopes!) show at The Red Room in Ararat on February 25 – and for all of those with Port Fairy Folk Festival tickets in their hot little hands, you’ll see Ruth in all her glory alongside countless national and international acts.
“There are so many Australian acts that I’m not familiar with so I’m excited to make some new discoveries. I’m a big fan of Lake Street Dive so I’m looking forward to seeing them. Richard Thompson and Sinead O’Connor have been favourites of mine since I was a teenager, so they are right at the top of my list.
“And my friend Steve Poltz is amazing and never fails to make me laugh, cry and feel inspired, so it’s a huge bonus that he will be there too.”
When&Where: The Red Room, Ararat – February 25 & Port Fairy Folk Festival
By Natalie Rogers