Ruth Moody’s Best Songcrafting

Ruth Moody - The Garden
Ruth Moody

The Garden (Red House Records, 2011)

I didn’t know what to expect from Ruth Moody’s (Wailin’ Jennys) solo outing “The Garden”. I thought the musician-songwriter would bring out the Celtic music influence, but you won’t find any Irish fiddling on this album. You will find fabulous musical arrangements that fall between country, bluegrass and folky pop (“Travellin’ Shoes”) and you’ll find some of Moody’s best song crafting of her career thus far. Moody expands her vocal range (I’m not talking alto to soprano) singing in a whispery voice on “Never Said Goodbye” (she also plays piano on the track), and then giving Emmy Lou Harris a run for her money on “We Can Only Listen”. On “Tell Me” she recalls Patsy Cline’s classic hits. Moody also crafts catchy tunes with witty turn of phrases.

The other thing Moody does that amazes me is she takes old worn out phrases such as “birds of a feather stick together” and she turns it into art. I’m not sure if she’s using these phrases as clever devices or if she’s poking fun at them. Either way she lifts the IQ of country-style music a few notches. There’s a belief out there that country music is for brain dead people, but we must remember that country singers with higher IQs and song writing talent exist in the sea of mediocrity. They might not receive airplay on commercial country stations, but do show up on community radio specialty shows.

My favorite standouts on this charming disc are the piano ballad “Never Said Goodbye,” the lively title track, the Americana with a capital “A” song, “Nest” and the sexy “Cold Outside”. You must remember that Ruth hails from Winnipeg where winter comes in October and doesn’t leave until May. I’m growing fond of this recording which closes with the other 2/3rd of the Jennys lending their vocals to “Closer Now”.

I don’t know the line-up of the Ruth Moody Band, but the band is touring. And judging by the 12 songs on “The Garden,” you don’t want to miss this concert just like you don’t want to miss The Wailin’ Jennys when they’re in town.

Ruth’s Next Performances


Tuesday, October 11th

Ruth Moody in New York, NY
The Living Room
Time: 9:00pm.
Admission: Free.
Address: 154 Ludlow St.

Friday, October 21st – Saturday, October 22nd

Ruth Moody in Whitehorse, Yukon
Break Out West Festival

Thursday, October 27th

Ruth Moody in Portland, OR
Alberta Rose Theatre
Time: 8:00pm.
Admission: $15.
Address: 3000 NE Alberta St.

Friday, October 28th

Ruth Moody in Mt. Vernon, WA
Lincoln Theatre
Time: 8:00pm.
Admission: $26/23/17.
Address: 712 South First Street.

Saturday, October 29th

Ruth Moody in Covington, WA
Kentwood Performing Arts Center
Time: 7:30pm.
Admission: $24/22/18.
Address: 25800 164th Ave. SE.

Tuesday, November 1st

Ruth Moody in Felton, CA
Don Quixote’s
Time: 7:30pm.
Admission: $15/13.
Box office: 831-603-2294.

Thursday, November 3rd

Ruth Moody in Sacramento, CA
Time: 7:00pm.
Admission: $18.
Address: 2708 J Street.

Friday, November 4th
Ruth Moody in Chico, CA
Manzanita Place
Time: 6:30pm.
Admission: $18/22.
Address: 1705 Manzanita Ave.

Saturday, November 5th

Ruth Moody in Philo, CA
Anderson Valley Grange Hall
Time: 7:00pm.
Admission: $20.
Address: 9800 HWY 128.

Sunday, November 6th
Ruth Moody in San Rafael, CA
Kanbar Center
Time: 7:30pm.
Admission: $40/35/30.
Address: 200 N. Pedro Road.

Friday, November 11th
Ruth Moody in Edmonton
The ARTery
Time: 10:00pm.
Admission: $15.
Address: 9535 Jasper Ave..

Saturday, November 12th

Ruth Moody in Calgary
Crescent Heights Community Hall
Time: 8:30pm.
Address: 1101 2nd St. NW.
Presented by The Nickelodeon Music Club

Sunday, November 13th

Ruth Moody in Red Deer
The Hideout Eats & Beats
Time: 9:00pm.
Admission: $10.

Wednesday, November 16th

Ruth Moody in Cedar Rapids, IA
Legion Arts
Time: 7:00pm.
Admission: $21/17.
Address: 1103 3rd Street.

Thursday, November 17th

Ruth Moody in Des Moines, IA
Civic Center
Time: 7:30pm.
Admission: $19.50.
Address: 221 Walnut Street.

Friday, November 18th

Ruth Moody in St. Paul, MN
Landmark Center
Time: 7:00pm.
Admission: $15.
Address: 75 W. 5th St.

Saturday, November 19th

Ruth Moody in Zumbrota, MN
Crossings at Carnegie

Buy the album or MP3 downloads:

Author: PatriciaHerlevi

Patricia Herlevi is a former music journalist turned music researcher. She is especially interested in raising music consciousness. She is looking for an agent and publisher for her book Whole Music (Soul Food for the Mind Body Spirit). She founded and hosts the blog
The Whole Music Experience and has contributed to World Music Central since 2003.


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