At age 5 Ruth Theodore was told that she would never physically be able to play guitar and following a sledging accident, aged 9, that left her unable to speak, singing and playing the guitar were unexpected career choices. Yet by the age of 14 Ruth was earning money as a singer and guitarist, playing in music bars and venues almost every night of the week. Free from knowing the names of the strings, Ruth’s guitar playing and use of unconventional techniques and unique tuning structure has bewildered guitarists ever since. Composing and arranging all of her music by ear Ruth can be heard in recent recordings applying her own unique style to Piano.
Ruth started creating her own music as a teenager, teaching herself guitar and busking on Southampton High Street, when staying in the doorway of a branch of WHSmiths. It was a happy time for Ruth and here that she met her ‘muse’ who would walk past and listen to Ruth sing and who Ruth has written about ever since. Ruth also recalls being persuaded by the owner of a music shop to set up all the stringed instruments and showcase them in store for a whopping £2 an hour.
Moving to London in 2006 in search of music, Ruth slept (secretly) beneath a workbench in an artist’s workshop, which years later, she and a team of musicians transformed into a recording studio.
Following the recording and release of the first of her three self-produced records; Wormfood, through River Rat Records, Ruth moved on to a tiny narrow boat with no heating or electricity on the River Lea in East London. Her home for the last 10 years.
The river and the land on which she moors have been a great source of inspiration, and keen to continue creating on the water Ruth has single-handedly converted a larger boat into a studio space which has become the base for her band and other local musicians.
Her subsequent self released albums; White Holes Of Mole Hills (2010) and Dear Lamp Love Moth (2013), received critical acclaim from the UK media, with reviews running in The Guardian & The Observer, whilst also achieving national radio play on BBC Radio3 and BBC 6 music, alongside rave reviews in music magazines Mojo, Q, fRoots and more.
For her fourth and arguably her popular fourth album “Cactucus” Ruth collaborated with US producer and bassist Todd Sickafoose. Todd Produced Anais Mitchell’s widely acclaimed ‘Hadestown’ and not coincidentally is bassist for American Folk legend Ani DiFranco for whom Ruth opened two solo London shows in 2012 and appeared with her band as a special guest later in 2017 for a sold out show at The London Palladium, where they shared the stage for the last two songs.
The critically accliamed “Cactacus” also featured the talents of drummer Mathias Kunzli (Regina Spektor) and organist Rob Burger (Tom Waits) amongst others and was released on September 2016 in a collaboration between ‘Aveline Records’ which Ruth happily signed to in early 2016. “Cactacus” made numberous appearances on Radio 2, BBC London, BBC Radio Wales, BBC6 music and recieved plenty more rave reviews from The Guardian, Mojo, Rock n Reel, fRoots and many others.
Having toured the UK for a large part of 2017 Ruth has reduced the number of live appearances for the rest of the year to focus on writing.