There's a beautiful simplicity here that captivates the listener in Rubarth's often quasi-little girl voice and fragmented lines, playing with meter and rhyme like a poetess delighted to find curious combinations and cadences. In fact, in more ways than one, these traits compose trademarks for her in a Suzanne Vega / Janis Ian / Shirley Temple (ca Heidi!) delivery backed by tuneful musicianship drawn with zest and quietude, sometimes rondos and compositional reverses.
Rubarth's subject is the everyday: relationships, moods and days, introspection and extroversion (but mostly introspection), pining for exotica to augment the ordinary while also finding the hidden corners of what at first seemed mundane. A complement of session people augment the basic trio (Rubarth plays keyboards and acoustic guitars besides singing), finished artists all, who weave a comfortable shawl for the chanteuse to don. The rhythms and lines sway and dance around her, always showcasing a voice that is cajoling, explaining, hoping, and pondering. More than once, I was reminded of Cat Stevens' midground between pith and playfulness in the old days.
This is a good time for a bunch of music modes, folky mellow rock not least among them, and Rubarth kinda finds kindred resemblances to Jen Gloeckner (here) and Libby Johnson (here), though the styles are markedly different (esp. Gloeckner's!). The meltdown of the mainstream goliaths has been providential for true musicians and serious listeners, finding a not-much-noted small renaissance in prolificity and styles, ample enough to keep the connoissieur sated but still wanting more. Here's dessert.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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