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Ruth Moody


Ruth Moody

Ruth Moody (with Wailin' Jennys)

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Description of Ruth Moody's Music:

Contemporary folk, singer-songwriter, Americana


Ruth Moody made a name for herself as one-third of the beloved Canadian folk troupe the Wailin' Jennys. Fans of the Jennys would certainly be interested in Moody's solo work, as would fans of similar harmony-focused folk groups like the Be Good Tanyas, Simon & Garfunkel, the Milk Carton Kids, Indigo Girls, and others. Solo, Moody's work calls to mind the creative, imaginative, banjo-focused songwriting of Abigail Washburn as well as many of Washburn's previous collaborators - Rayna Gellert, Ben Sollee, and other such creative approaches to traditional instruments. Fans of the Punch Brothers and Crooked Still, as well as lyrical songwriters like Patty Griffin and Dar Williams, would be interested in Moody's solo work as well.

Recommended CDs by Ruth Moody:

The Garden (Red House Records, 2010) compare prices

Firecracker (with the Wailin' Jennys, Red House Records, 2006) compare prices

These Wilder Things (Red House Records, 2013) compare prices

Purchase/Download Ruth Moody MP3s:

"Within Without You" (from The Garden)
"Trouble and Woe" (from These Wilder Things)
"The Devil's Paintbrush Road" (with the Wailin' Jennys, from Firecracker)

Ruth Moody Biography:

Ruth Moody was born in Australia but her family soon moved to Canada, where she grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Both of Moody's parents are educators - her father focusing on English literature, while her mother was a music and Orff teacher. As such, Moody grew up inclined toward the creative expression of ideas, studying classical music first on the piano, then branching out as she grew. (Her siblings, incidentally, both became musicians. Her brother Richard plays with fellow Canadiana band the Bills, while her sister Rachel is a violinist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.)

Despite her intense focus on classical music training - on both piano and voice - Moody eventually found herself gravitating toward traditional music. As a teenager, she began gravitating toward learning folk songs, developing a special affinity for Scottish and Irish Celtic folk music. No doubt, the tradition of Irish and Scottish balladry, with its fierce allegiance to richly developed plotlines and narrative story-songs, spoke to Moody's familial tendency toward music and stories all at once.

Despite her musical upbringing, Moody focused on stories in college, majoring in English and French literature. She thought perhaps she would follow her parents' footsteps and become a teacher herself. But, she soon found her way to performing folk and roots music along with childhood friend Leonard Podolak (who founded the band Scruj MacDuhk, and later the Duhks). Moody joined MacDuhk for a number of years, touring Canada as the band's lead singer, before she parted ways with the group in 2001.

In the wake of Scruj MacDuhk's breakup, Moody learned to play guitar and teamed up with a pair of women to form a harmony-based trad folk trio called the Wailin' Jennys. Though the trio was performing music heavily informed by tradition, they were inter-splicing songs of their own composition (many written by Moody), exploring ways to keep traditional music relevant without forsaking any of its authenticity in the interest of record sales. The Wailin' Jennys became wildly successful in the Canadian and American folk music scenes, earning JUNO nominations and honors from the International Folk Alliance, among other things. Their popularity laid a solid foundation for Ruth Moody's solo career, which began in the mid-'00s with the release of an EP and then a couple of full-length albums.

In 2013, Ruth Moody announced the release of her second full-length solo album, These Wilder Things on Red House Records, the same label which has supported the career of the Wailin' Jennys. The disc featured collaborations with the Jennys as well as Mark Knopfler and others. In the wake of the release, Moody hit the road as an opener for Knopfler and has a number of solo dates set across Canada and the US as 2013 unfolds. For a closer look at Ruth Moody's music - both solo and with the Wailin' Jennys - as well as up-to-date tour information, etc., keep an eye on her website at RuthMoody.com.

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