– by Dylan Smith
Last Friday night, Ruby Boots launched her latest album, Solitude, with a knee slappin’, hoe down of a show at The Rosemount Hotel.
The brisk night air was thick with a cool country vibe, noticeable from the moment I stepped through the threshold. My +1 and I were greeted by rootin’ tootin’ guest acts including The Ghost Hotel, Flooded Palace, and The Little Lord Street Band, all of whom sang with their hearts in their mouths, seemingly excreting music rather than actively playing it; like a root, left to sweat, excretes a sweet, milky juice. Country music in a rich and raw form.
Having donned my mums old farmers overalls in order to fully step into my western persona, I was prepared for the clock to strike 11 and be taken on a rollicking ride of hip-swinging, boot knockin’ fun.
Ruby’s (Bex Chilcott) presence on stage was immediate and nourishing; the crowd responding as though she was a loved one returning from a long trip. As the blues n’ roots singer and her band performed, halfway through the first song Ruby halted and then, in an earthbound Aussie accent informed the audience that “F*ck, I forgot the words… (laughs) let’s do the next one.”
Then, after a few songs sang all the way through; spittoon shooting relics of outback tales, Ruby regaled us of the story behind a song on the album called “Middle of Nowhere.” Having been travelling around America with fellow Country Folk musicians The Waifs, the two groups headed inland to a farm owned by lead Waif runner. Ruby, having fallen asleep during the several hour ride woke up asking; “where are we?”… to which she got the response “welcome in the middle of nowhere.”
“I said right there and then that would be a song on my next album.”
The song, featuring wispy twangs of loneliness and isolation, is the thematic amalgamation of the incredible journey in the album, and Ruby Boots managed to encompass this journey in her strong live performance.
Solitude is out now.
Photo Credit: Ruby Boots