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Ruth Moody releases ‘Seventeen’ from her first solo album in more than 10 years


No matter how far you think you’ve come, it’s hard to resist thinking about what might have been. That’s the rationale behind “Seventeen,” the achingly wistful single from Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth Moody’s forthcoming album, Wanderer, out May 17 on Blue Muse Records/True North Records.

In her gentle yet authoritative soprano, Ruth looks back on a teenage crush that followed the sad but typical trajectory from something craved to something squandered.

The open-tuned guitars, delicate delivery and overall “sadder but wiser” vibe of the track reveal Ruth’s debt to one of her musical heroes, Joni Mitchell. At the same time, the infectious melody and eternally relevant depiction of adolescent yearning give “Seventeen” a commercial potential that puts it right up there with the Taylors and Avrils of today.

The song is an uncharacteristically long look back for Wanderer, which mostly concerns itself with the path Ruth’s life has taken since the release of her last album, 2013’s These Wilder Things. Basically, she went on an extended hiatus to start a family—hey, John Lennon did it too—and being a mother to a now-seven-year-old has lent maturity and focus to the 10 new cuts she and co-producer Dan Knobler laid down at Sound Emporium in Nashville.

Ruth currently splits her time between Music City USA and Victoria, BC.

Accruing wisdom has been a lifelong process for Ruth, starting with her formative years on a goat farm in Manitoba and the dual education in music and English she received from her teacher parents. She went from singing with her siblings to picking up a guitar, and by her 20s was firmly on the road to success with the Billboard-charting and Juno-Award-winning folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, which she co-founded in 2002 (and remains with to this day). Her parallel solo career began in 2010, and she’s also made time for a number of high-profile collaborations with the legendary Mark Knopfler. As a guest in his band, with The Wailin’ Jennys, and as a solo act, she’s appeared on some of the most prestigious stages around the world.

Ruth will celebrate the release of Wanderer with a tour of top listening rooms in the U.S. and an appearance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.


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