Melissa Ruth’s music lies somewhere along that stretch of sonic highway where Americana and blues converge into one long, sometimes lonesome road. But Ruth likes to detour toward a place she prefers to call “doo-wop twang” — a sound that contains, in her words, “the space of blues, the teeth of country and the grit of rock ‘n’ roll.” Of course, the highway is more than metaphor for Ruth, who puts 30,000 miles a year on her car as a traveling teacher and performer, carrying her music and messages to audiences well beyond her rural Oregon home.
On March 1, 2019, Ruth will release her new album album, Meteor, on Both Ears Records. Much of the album is inspired by Ruth’s travels, the country’s current social climate, affairs of the heart, and struggles both internal and external. Wonder at the ephemeral nature of stars — and life — inhabits the tunes she pens, sung in a moody alto colored with infinite shades of blue. And there is plenty of doo-wop twang, of course.
Today Glide is offering an exclusive early peek at the new album with the premiere of the video for “You Are Not Alone”. Filmed in black and white, the video is a mellow and soulful meditation on loneliness and connections. With a simple bluesy guitar to give the tune a laid back feeling, complementing Ruth’s thoughtful lyrics and vocals. There is an old soul vibe to her music, but she also comes across as contemporary in a way that brings to mind the quieter work of acts like the Alabama Shakes.
Melissa Ruth explains the song in her own words:
“I wrote the song ‘You Are Not Alone’ as a kind of love song to all of us, to everyone who has ever felt alone.
I call the West, particularly the rural west, my home. The West can still be a wild and rugged place in many ways. In good times, natural resource based economies created boom towns up and down this side of the Rockies. As time has taken its toll on resources such as timber, some of these economies slowed to a near standstill. So when the recession hit rural Oregon 10 years ago, it hit hard and recovery, if any, happened slowly. In places where jobs were few and unemployed folks were many, there were times when it felt like it was every man for himself. I wanted to capture some of those feelings of isolation in this video. I also wanted to juxtapose it with the things that make communities so special; the families, the friendships, and the shared histories.
The video was filmed in a tiny timber town along the I-5 corridor, a place that is near to my heart, a place that grew me up quicker than any place ever has. It’s a tough little place. Yet these scenes of community are from within, the heartbeat, hidden just the other side of the tree line. Aside from me asking to bring my friend with a camera along, these are real folks just doing their thing, reminding me that I am not alone.”
For more music and info visit melissaruthmusic.com.