It used to be that a typical day for Faith Evans Ruch was full of heart beats, medical charts and newborn babies. In the summer of 2011, the registered nurse decided to give in to her muse, pick up a guitar and pour out her heart. Two years later, she released 1835 Madison – dubbed "too good to be a debut" by internationally published music critic Silver Michaels, the record announced Faith Evans Ruch's arrival on the musical map.
It was at an early age that Faith was first charmed by the evocative nature of even the smallest lyrical line or chord. Though she dreamed of playing guitar, she only briefly took piano lessons and mostly confined her artistic expression to private poetry. Later, after moving to the secluded mountains of Montana, she sought out a songwriting class to help hone her skills further and seriously study great songwriters.
"Emmylou did it for me," she says. "Rolling down the mountain listening to ‘Orphan Child’ or her duet with Linda Ronstadt on ‘The Sweetest Gift’ was pure inspiration. I just connected with that raw emotion. And John Prine's ‘Angel from Montgomery’ captured me – just the power and simplicity of a guitar accompanying that gorgeous bit of poetry."
It was that same emotional fire that led Faith to revisit her dream of playing guitar just one year into her nursing career. Determined to finally learn to create music to accompany her private lyrical vignettes, the burgeoning songstress played day and night until her fingers bled – “so I'd know I was working hard enough," she says with a smile.
Soon thereafter, inspiration arrived in spades. Through relationships with friends in the local music scene, Faith took the opportunity to perform her newly penned break up farewell, "Your Soul." The blue-eyed swing ballad lays Ruch bare in the aftermath of a relationship fading before her eyes. The autobiographical song neatly summarizes her tale: I learned guitar so I could play/the words my lips would never say.
Ruch learned to play plenty more over the next few months – she’d found her voice, emboldened by catharsis. Armed with a newfound confidence and a fresh batch of songs, Faith booked time at Music+Arts Studio to record. With producer Kevin Houston (North MS Allstars, Lucero, Patty Griffin) at the helm and session players like Luther Dickinson (North MS Allstars, Black Crowes) and Rick Steff (John Prine, Cat Power, Lucero), the 11 song set glides gracefully across the hills and valleys of the South's sonic spectrum. Heavily influenced by her classic country roots, songs like "Too Stupid to Cry" ring with a world-weary wisdom, while lead single "PBR Song," with its easy melody and lilting horn lines, recalls the best moments of Cat Power's "The Greatest.
In the months that followed the release of 1835 Madison, Faith got on the road, sharing her songs in dive bars from Nashville to New Orleans. It was during that time, alone with her guitar as she had been in the beginning, that Faith began writing the songs and discovering the vision for her sophomore release, a 10” vinyl EP called After It’s Said & Done.
Recorded over just two days at Music+Arts Studio with Kevin Houston, After It’s Said & Done is raw, intimate and sparse – “it allows the listeners to feel what I felt when I wrote these songs,” Faith says. The growth from 1835 Madison is evident: Faith has paired her most mature songwriting to date with an evocative, vulnerable vocal performance. The EP’s title is open for interpretation, but one thing is certain – Faith Evans Ruch is just getting started.
J: What is the story behind the song you submitted?
1. Every Monday night open mic night/pint night at the old Dublin House bar on Madison Ave. It was the first place I ever played out in public, and it was where all of my friends got together weekly and shared our new songs. I spent a solid 2 years at least of Monday nights there until it closed a couple years back. Never found another open mic quite like it and I credit that bar with some of my best musical and personal memories.
2. The day that Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars came into the studio and played on my first album. I was completely starstruck and I’m pretty certain came off as a giddy, weirdo. That’s ok though, I couldn’t help myself—I mean, have you listened to his music?
3. Touring England for a week this past May. It was my first time in the UK and my first overseas tour so that experience pretty much speaks for itself.
4. The time I couldn’t afford pet boarding and took my two cats, Lucy the Goose and Dirty Diana, on a week long mini tour with me across the South. They were champs hitting a new city each night. I refer to that tour as Tour de Chat.
5. The time I got booked to play on a trolley driving around downtown Memphis on a Saturday afternoon.
J: If you could open a set for anyone, who would it be?
J: When is your next release?
Booking Contact: booking(AT)faithevansruch(DOT)com
Faith Evans Roch Links:
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