A Chat with Ruthie

Well Howdy Folks,

Had a coupla lovely chats this week.The first was with Ruth Hazelton about a new album for herself and Kate Burke. I remember meeting these two briefly at my first ever National Festival where they got the Liz Johnston Award for vocal excellence and I got the Declan Affley award. Feels like many moons ago. In December that year, Kate's band Trouble in the Kitchen and the duo with Ruth showed up in Hobart, Tasmania for the Irish Association's Fleadh. I made flyers and distributed them around town to try and get a crowd for what I thought was a major coup.

We watched actual VHS videos (in the words of Tevye - 'Unthinable'!) of a program curated by Andy Irvine and Paul Brady called "Sessions of the Seventies". It was my holy grail at the time though now much of it can be found easily on youtube.

In 2002, sqeezing in somewhere between my liver collapse, the National Folk Festival (no connection, honestly!) and my departure for Scotland to join Shooglenifty, we made an album called Swapping Seasons together. Ian Blake engineered and is also responsible for some of my favourite lines - "we're not wanting to gild the lily" being the most common in current usage for me.

It was a strange process for me as it was the first step in the recording process so my backing was playing sometimes to nothing. Nonetheless it was great to hang out in Canberra, and live music with the two of them for a week.

And now we're about to embark on it all again!

There's a fair amount of history in this for me and a lot of genuine affection for these girls who have always made me feel like my contributions were worthwhile. Thanks for the call!