After the release of her marvellous debut album ‘Get Drunk and Cry’, Ruthie Collins was of course top of my list to see at CMA Festival back in June. Following this, we were so lucky for her to agree to have a quick chat with us. Since then, Ruthie has opened for the Queen of Country Music, none other than Ms Reba McEntire (yes…WOW, right?), go and read all about Ruthie’s experience over on her blog (https://www.thebookofruthie.com/blog/2018/8/9/my-reba-recap).
We chatted song-writing, female inspirations and of course the possibility of Ruthie popping over to the UK sometime soon. Oh… and puppies of course! – Shannon Hynes (twitter.com/s_hynesmusic)
Hi Ruthie, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. First of all, welcome to Belles and Gals! How are you today?
I’m doing so well! Finally catching up on a bunch of work so I’m thrilled about that 🙂
Your album ‘Get Drunk and Cry’ is full of so many impressively well written, country songs. If you had to choose, which is your favourite and can you tell us a little about the writing process of it?
Thank you SO much! That’s so hard, it’s like picking your favorite child! Well I don’t have kids so it’d be like picking my favorite dog. Love all my puppies the same! Speaking of dogs though, ONE of my favorite songs off the record is called “Me and Emmylou”. It’s a story about how I truly believe a girl can do absolutely anything she puts her mind to, if she has the support and unconditional love of her people, her tribe with her. And in my case, that’s a precocious Chihuahua named Emmylou. (And her sister Hazel of course!)
I wrote “Me and Emmylou” with my two friends Curt Gibbs and Phillip Lammonds. We were at a writer’s retreat trying to write for my record. Of course, I had my dogs with me and Emmylou got into some trash when we weren’t looking and had a sick tummy. I was babying her trying to help and Phillip looked at me and said “Well she just thinks she’s the queen of some Mexican desert.” I loved that line so much we put it in the chorus and started writing from there!
That’s what is so great about country music, there’s always some crazy story behind the songs, haha! In terms of co-writing, how do you find it differs from writing on your own? How do you usually prepare for each situation?
Co-writing is usually set up, so I’ll go in with a list of titles and sometimes songs started. Writing by myself happens when inspiration strikes (and usually involves red wine)
Red wine is always the answer! You have a passion for vintage, everything, basically. From your clothing style to the classic country genre of your music. Where would you say this passion originated from?
My love affair with all things vintage started at a very young age. It was passed down to me by my mother and her mother. We’ve always passed down antiques, clothing and recipes. Love of history has always been very important to my family.
You are a creator in every sense of the word, with your blog (https://www.thebookofruthie.com/), your DIY crafts and of course your music. I find your blog very, very inspiring, you write of how you practice meditation and keeping your mind strong. How do you constantly keep your creative juices flowing?
Thank you SO much! Honestly I’ve never had much of a problem staying creative, when it strikes I just always try to listen. However, meditation, yoga and being in nature especially near the water helps a lot!
We know you’re a huge admirer of Emmylou Harris, but who would you say were your female inspirations when you were growing up and who are your inspirations now as a grown woman, be it musically or in general life?
When I was young I loved Mariah Carey. I had her record ‘Music Box’ on cassette and wore it out! And my mother has always been my biggest inspiration, then and now. Emmylou is a big one, and Dolly! I also recently opened up for Reba and just adore her!
Even though, your music might not fit into the ‘commercial’ style for radio today, I feel you always try to stay authentic to who you are, how important do you think this is?
I think it’s wildly important! I NEVER excel when I’m trying to be like someone else. My successes have always been due to standing strong in who I am, what I believe in and what makes me unique!
You’ve spoken openly about your struggles with record labels before. Can you tell our readers who might not know, the experience of these struggles? And, how do you think they motivated and inspired you to eventually create the magnificence that is your latest album, ‘Get Drunk and Cry’?
Wow! Thanks for calling it magnificent!! I have been SO lucky for the last 6 years to be signed to Curb Records. This has awarded me many opportunities to create, write and record music. The “OPPORTUNITY” as I choose to call it (some might say struggle) has been that in the current climate of females at country radio, my record label has not chosen to release a single to country radio. I’m hoping that will change soon.
As i’ve mentioned before on Belles and Gals, you were one of my highlights at CMA Fest this year, I was very surprised to see your audience was pretty much dominated with UK fans. Can we expect a visit over here from you anytime soon?
Oh I would LOVE that so much! It’s on my bucket list for sure!
So, what is next for you, Ruthie?
I’m about to go into the studio and record the new songs that I’ve been writing since the release of Drunk and Cry! I’m so excited to push the envelope even more!
Ohhh, we’ll very much look forward to hearing some new music from you, that’s for sure. Now, we’re going to end on some fun questions:
So, your album is called ‘Get Drunk and Cry’, what is your drink of your choice?
Ha! I’m not picky! If I had to pick only one it’d probably be red wine! Or bourbon 🙂
What was the last thing you listened to on your phone?
The David Ramirez record ‘Fables’. And the Melissa Ambrosini podcast! She’s one of my favorites.
What would you say are 3 things on your bucket list for the next 5 years?
- Moving to the beach (I crave water)
- Having a baby. Or a couple 🙂
- Headlining a tour!
Other than music, what do you like to do relax?
LOVE hot yoga, snuggling my puppies and happy hour with my girls is my fav!
Thank you so much for chatting with me Ruthie. I adore the album. We can’t wait for you to visit the UK. Lots of Love x
You are SO welcome!!! ?
Interview conducted by Shannon Hynes – twitter.com/s_hynesmusic