Ruth Minnikin Ruth Minnikin

You know a song has really gotten to you when the melody keeps creeping back inside your head. The music of Nova Scotia-based Ruth Minnikin lingers long after the five tracks on her debut release. With more than a hint of bluegrass, Minnikin plays stripped-down, country-inspired folk music. Her album starts stark, drawing out her flat low voice and as it progresses, she gives a strong indication of her vocal command in her ability to extend her voice into higher scales. On the last track, "Snow Day,” she offers a haunting serenade, bringing the song home. Each of the seven musicians who appear on the album offer up their vocal harmonising throughout most, if not all, of the choruses. Some of the players off the album include Minnikin’s compadres from her other bands, the Guthries and the Heavy Blinkers. Although she’s been heavily involved in the writing aspect with both, it was a natural progression for Minnikin to record an album of her own. Her unobtrusive short tales blend with a diverse combination of instruments. An acoustic guitar provides the melody, and like a train’s locomotion, the tempo is comforting and dependable. Notable is the banjo, pedal steel and French horn, a combo that rarely shares a stage, and gives a flare to simple verses. The disc sets a mood that rolls your emotions through each song’s unique sound. The album was recorded live off the floor and the quality of the recording leaves the edges intact, and it’s that grit that makes this CD so tangible. (Independent)