We have heard from Ruth Garbus and received her 2014 Joule EP she made for OSR Tapes (not yet reviewed); here’s an entire album of her fragile songs called Rendezvous With Rama (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS FTR 191). Ruth is based in Brattleboro Vermont, also home to the songwriting team Blanche Blanche Blanche, who are likewise represented on this label. Where the Blanche duo are somewhat mannered and artificial, making a virtue out of their irony and obliqueness, Ruth Garbus is far more direct and honest in her songwriting, and in her delivery. Just a voice and an acoustic guitar strumming simple chords, but what a voice…incredibly soft and gentle, almost barely staining the recording tape with its suffused presence, yet she never misses a note, even when attempting some quite challenging scales and intervals.
Rendezvous is quite the introverted album and sure to appeal to shut-ins, lonely young people and romantics around the world, but it has an honesty and clarity which marks this out as something quite special. I’d like to be able to decipher more of the lyrics, but you can tell from Ruth’s tone that every word is sincere and heartfelt. If you find Joni Mitchell’s Blue too outspoken and contrived, this is just the record for you…it will take you to a very small and intimate, personal place. Very good indeed. From September 2015.