Ruth Moody

The Garden

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An effort away from the Wailin' Jennys, Ruth Moody's solo project has her lithe and lean voice singing original songs that speak to rural folk music dialects. It is far removed from the multicultural big-city metropolitan music of where it was recorded in Toronto, closer to Appalachian mountain music, replete with acoustic stringed instruments from many special guests, and the down-home feel that comes from the soul of a country girl. These compositions from Moody reflect lost love, yearning, the cold weather months, and a sense of loneliness easily cured by companionship. While she plays banjo, piano, ukulele, acoustic guitar, and accordion, her sweet and supple voice is the focal point of these selections, with the garden of life in mind. While the title track depicts that garden as a more spiritual place, the harshness and isolation of winter seem foremost on Moody's mind on other tracks, the temptress in her coming out during "Cold Outside" as she asks her mate to come inside. There are two duets with the great singer Heather Masse, "We Could Pretend" and the country waltz "Closer Now," where their voices blend beautifully, and suggesting that a full-blown project should be in the works. The most universally appealing song is "Travellin' Shoes" in a light pop/rock beat, while "Nest" is pure country, as producer David Travers-Smith evokes the passion of Moody during "Tell Me," adding some of his trumpet playing, among many other instruments he plays on this date. In many ways this is a delightful, subtle, and restrained effort by Ruth Moody, not so much surprising as it is delicious and refreshing, recommended to her fans and those who enjoy the Jennys collective.

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