Ruby Jane: “Celebrity (Empire Of Emptiness)”
Ruby Jane Smith was all of two years old when she started playing the fiddle, inheriting a love of bluegrass music from her mother. She grew up in tiny Columbus, Mississippi, honing her craft until the opportunity of a lifetime came knocking: at age ten, Smith became the youngest fiddler to perform for the Grand Ole Opry.
Since then, Smith has become something of a music veteran. She’s toured and recorded with Asleep At The Wheel and Willie Nelson and tackled music festivals like Lollapalooza in Chicago and her (adopted) hometown’s Austin City Limits. Nowadays, she’s dropped the surname to pursue her own solo career. Since 2006, she’s put out an LP and a couple of live albums and EPs, but her proper sophomore release came earlier this summer.
Celebrity (Empire Of Emptiness) finds the fiddler growing more mature, even if she’s seventeen and barely out of high school. For starters, she’s not as dependent on her fiddle skills; the album also showcases her knack for singing and songwriting. She demonstrates her strong voice with a surprise cover of Wilco’s discordant “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, but it’s the album’s title track that hits hardest. The song is polished and self-assured yet still all-too-human, and KUT was lucky enough to get a performance of it recently. Recorded live in Studio 1A, Ruby Jane powered her way through “Celebrity (Empire Of Emptiness),” today’s song of the day.