On the brink of the Depression in 1929, Georgia O'Keeffe - America's first great modernist painter - headed west. In the bright light of the New Mexico desert, she forged an independent life and found the solitude she needed for her truly original art.
Riverfolk is an album with it's roots springing from the Irish town of Athy, but whose branches touch every corner of the world. From the opening track ‘Down at Joe’s’ to the final track ‘Concerning Lily Moreau’ there is a strong presence on this album of the hauntingly sad character of Lily Moreau, who met an untimely end in ‘Dark Water’. Mixed with a collection of blues and soulful ballads, this new album will certainly appeal to anyone who has a feeling for the blues and an appetite for some fresh melodies and lyrics from a truly talented Irish songwriter.
The image of a deer skull superimposed over a rocky landscape is at once serene and startling, and Ruehr’s (b. 1963) music reflects both. Its broad orchestral shades, sweeping string writing, and arching motives, put across with clarity by solo trumpet, brings to mind classic film music and the rural Americana of Copland’s popular scores. Yet these elements grind against one another for patches of rough dissonance. The music also seems to spin in many directions at once. Brass and woodwind calls dart out from the music’s bubbling rhythm, while doubled octaves in basses and piano ground the music to the earth.