Campfire Tales: Five minutes with Ruth Moody
Australian-Canadian Ruth Moody is visiting the UK touring her 2014 album These Wilder Things. Before she landed we caught up with her about the album, her group The Wailin' Jennys, and touring with Mark Knopfler.
Please introduce yourself to The Music Fix readers!
I'm a singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I tour around with two different bands - The Ruth Moody Band and The Wailin' Jennys (not both at the same time). My music lives in the folk music realm, I guess. It's kind of a mix of bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, country, gospel. With classical and pop influences.
How strange does it feel to be touring These Wilder Things nearly a couple of years after its release?
It actually doesn't feel strange at all. The record came out in May 2013 so it still has a lot of life in it. These days, especially for an independent artist, touring is such a necessary part of getting your music out there and making a living. And there are a whole lot of places to tour. We're hitting Australia and New Zealand for the first time in the next few months, so we're pretty excited about that.
What can people expect from your shows?
We'll be mostly playing music from These Wilder Things but we'll also be playing songs from The Garden, as well as older songs, Jenny favourites, and some brand new songs!
What’s next for you? Are there plans for more The Wailin’ Jennys music?
The Jennys are talking about recording in about a year's time - that is, late fall of 2015. Fingers crossed - when there are kids in the picture it gets a whole lot harder to schedule things.
How do you find switching between the two? What are the major differences between being on your own and being in a band?
Well, I tour with my own band so in some ways it's not all that different. I guess it's different in that I'm the sole front-person in my band. That's been fun - it's pushed me in some positive ways that I was ready for. And my band is really great - Adrian Dolan, Adam Dobres and Sam Howard - such great musicians. But I love touring with the Jennys too. There's something about three-part harmony that makes me feel like I'm home. Nicky and Heather are such great singers and writers. Honestly, I'm constantly inspired in both bands.
How was touring with Mark Knopfler?
Amazing - such a wonderful experience and such an honour. Not just to be able to open for him on those stages but also to be able to watch their show every night. So inspiring to witness that mastery. We are going out with him again for a few shows this coming summer and we are pumped.
Your cover of ‘Dancing In The Dark’ is brilliant, it’s got such a different feel to the original. Why did you choose that particular song?
It’s such a great song, for starters. I thought it would be fun to take it and turn it on its head - kind of 'folkify' it, I guess - since it has such a quintessential 80s sound to it. And I wanted to see how it would change when sung by a woman. So I just learned it on my own, but then my band brought it to a whole new level - with the strings and the mando - and gave it sort of a chamber-grass feel.
What are you looking forward to most from your visit to the UK?
I love getting out and exploring when I'm in UK. There is always something to see. When I was nine my family lived in France for a year and we were often over in England as well. My Dad was always taking us to see old churches and cathedrals and to this day I love seeing and walking through old buildings. I also love that you can always find good curry in the UK!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I can't drink it! It makes me crazy. But I love the taste, so I'm constantly sneaking sips of other people's coffee. Recently I discovered the dry cappuccino - espresso with just foam, no milk. If I could handle it, I think that would be my order. No sugar.
Ruth is visiting the UK in January, you can find details of all the dates on her website.