Ruby Mack’s Debut Album ‘Devil Told Me’ is A Modern Folk Masterpiece
Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the New England church studio where this magical record was created.
Devil Told Me is the debut album of feminist folk ensemble Ruby Mack. If riveting stories and thoughtful observations told through voices that will deliver an out-of-body experience aren’t enough to earn your click, allow me to elaborate.
Hailing from Massachusetts in the Pioneer Valley, Ruby Mack brings the serenity and wonder of the region to their sonic landscape. The band features Emma Ayres (vocals/guitar), Abs Kahler (fiddle), Abbie Duquette (bass uke), and Zoe Young (guitar/vocals).
I appreciate the decision to keep a particularly live feel with these songs. When it comes to studio recordings, it’s easy to get carried away in the endless opportunity of production, especially when it comes to folk music in this modern era. The choice to use only their voices and what they can carry worked in their favor, with regard to highlighting the impeccable lyrical and instrumental talent they bring to the table.
There’s a lot that is unique about this record, including takes on Icarus (“For Icarus“) and Odysseus, and nods to the blue collar workers who fuel the country (“Machine Man“). They also take on societal issues, such as the mounting pressure of expectations we’re conditioned to bear (“Milktooth“), as well as the gender roles we’re born into (“Breadwinner”). There are also songs like my personal favorite, “Sing Me,” which will sweep you away from reality, and leave you yearning for another escape.
The band’s ability to cover so many topics with such grace is truly an impressive feat. These are clearly well-studied, thoughtful, empathetic songwriters, and it was an absolute pleasure to listen to this record. Enjoy Ruby Mack’s debut album, Devil Told Me, below!