Ruth Moody in Review

July issue of ‘Rhythms’ – Australia’s leading roots music magazine

Posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2010.

Ruth Moody THE GARDEN SHOCK A member of The Wailin’ Jennys – you know, the Australian one! – Ruth Moody has managed to hold onto enough of her own compositions to produce a debut solo album. And here it is. And if you imagine The Garden a bit like The Wailin’ Jennys with Moody taking all the lead vocals, you’re not far off the mark. Indeed the Jennys’ Heather Masse and Nicky Mehta both contribute some vocals to album, alongside a who’s who of alternative American folk and country including: Oh Susanna; Crooked Still; Luke Doucet; Kathleen Edwards’ partner Colin Cripps; Matt Peters, etc, etc. Though produced and overseen by Jennys producer David Travers-Smith (he’s credited with recording, mixing and mastering!), it looks like the material was recorded at a variety of locations and maybe that is reflected in the gentle shifts in shades throughout the songs. The changes are subtle. The Garden is an album that invites intimacy, Moody’s breezy voice, sometimes requiring nothing but a ukulele as backing to deliver its impact. There may be a surprising cast of guest contributors, but this is undeniably Moody’s album. She is credited with playing guitar, piano, banjo, ukulele, and accordion, and no matter how gorgeous the instrumentation, it’s that voice that steals the scene every time.