Back To The Bones - A Concert for the Season of Halloween
Time & Location
About The Event
Award winning folk musician, singer, and recording artist Ruth Barrett, with Pele Yemaya and Rachel Alexander, present their special seasonal concert program of traditional Celtic and original folk music and lore, poetry and song, honoring the holiday and season of Samhain (All Hallows Eve). BYOB (Bring Your Own Broom!)
$15 advance | $18 at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Ruth Barrett is a pioneering mountain dulcimer player, folk singer, songwriter and award winning recording artist. She is best known for her specialized genre of music – songs that focus on women and magically themed traditional folk songs and ballads inspired by folklore, mythology, the embodied spirituality of the natural world. She is also known for her arrangements of Celtic, Renaissance, and English folk music. Her performances are often seasonally themed providing her audiences with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the humanity’s closer relationship with the natural world, and the magic that continues to resonate behind the veneer of modern life.
Ruth’s musical collaboration with mountain dulcimer player Cyntia Smith produced six critically acclaimed recordings beginning in 1981 as part of the early mountain dulcimer revival. To date, Ruth has eleven CDs to date, including her solo CDs that feature Ruth’s classical finger picking style of dulcimer playing, combined with a powerful and beautiful voice that has continued to enchant listeners for over four decades.
Ruth’s 1990 solo release, Parthenogenesis, won an INDIE award from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors in the category of Women’s Music. In 2002, Ruth’s original composition, Romp of the Canyon Kitties, was released as the opening track on Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer, Volume II (2003). Ruth’s latest CD, is Songs of the Otherworld - A Collection of Traditional and Original Folk Songs, Ballads, and Instrumentals Celebrating the Faerie Realm and Otherworld Beings. In 2011, Ruth was honored as recipient of the Jane Schliessman Award for outstanding contributions to women’s music from Women in the Arts at the National Women’s Music Festival.
Ruth has performed the Cal Tech Folk Music Series, Boulevard Music, and numerous times at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, opening for folk legends Malvina Reynolds, Jean Redpath, Bert Jaunch, and Jean Ritchie. With dulcimer builder and player, Joellen Lapidus. Ruth transcribed Joni Mitchell’s dulcimer arrangements for the songbooks, Hits and Misses (Warner Bros. Pub.).
For over forty years, Ruth’s accessible and supportive teaching style, plus her enthusiasm, has successfully taught thousands of people to play the fretted dulcimer, from private instruction to national folk festivals and music retreats including String A-Long, the Swannanoa Gathering, the Harvest Festival of Dulcimers, the Claremont Folk Music Festival, and the Winter Festival of Acoustic Music. She also taught dulcimer for many years at the famous McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California, and through the University of Wisconsin Madison adult continuing education.
Discography of Recordings:
Songs of the Otherworld (2011), a collection of traditional and original ballads, songs, and instrumentals celebrating the faerie realm and Otherworld beings.
Garden of Mysteries (2008) features original and traditional folk music about encounters with mystery.
The Year Is A Dancing Woman (2003), is a two-volume CD of songs and chants celebrating the cycle of Mother Nature.
Parthenogenesis (1990), won an INDIE award from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors in the category of Women’s Music.
Invocation To Free Women (1987) is a musical and poetic narrative unfolding the continuum of women’s spirituality.
Recordings with music collaborator Cyntia Smith:
The Heart Is The Only Nation (1995)
A Dulcimer Harvest (1991)
Aeolus (1981) and Music Of The Rolling World (1982) is now available in a CD compilation called The Early Years (1999)
Songs of Witchcraft & Magic (2007), Songs and Ballads compiled by The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.
The Best of Pagan Song (2004), a collection of pagan classics.
Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer, Volume 2 (2003), Individual and Ensemble Selections.
PRAISE FROM THE PRESS
“… music which faithfully recreates eras so far bygone that it reaches into our psychic depths of myth and imagination, emotionally transporting us in ways nothing on the radio can.”
- Music Connection Magazine
“Carefully arranged and skillfully played...a wide range of color and expression.” - L.A. Times
“Honest and sensitive folk artistry.” - Frets Magazine
“This is Goddess music at its finest - the music that Ruth was born to create.”
- The Beltane Papers Magazine
“Ruth created a sacred space for us with her songs to the Goddess, and the power of her voice,
accompanied or accapella, proved the power of music as magic.”- Hecate’s Loom
"Their entire approach is very artistic, refined and aesthetically elegant. In a world in which traditional notions of beauty are constantly being maligned, the music of Barrett and Smith is undeniably and unapologetically beautiful.
~Folk Scene Magazine
“Ruth has just released her tenth CD, Garden of Mysteries showcases Ruth’s excellent finger-picking dulcimer style and her powerful, beautiful voice. Listening to each song is akin to picking up a series of beautiful objects, each begging for your rapt attention. As you begin to really appreciate the wonder and promise of the object you’re holding, it fades only to be replaced by a new and equally mysterious subject for your careful examination. Each object is a differing facet of a very cohesive whole, and the listening experience is as restful and thought provoking as an actual trip to a real garden. Ruth’s original compositions site nicely alongside songs from Robin Williamson, Mark Simos, Les Barker, Lorraine Lee Hammond, and others. There is a definite but mystical bond at work, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t feel it too.”
reviewed by Neal Walters for Dulcimer Players News, Summer 2008
“What a wonderful album. If you like magical music as much as I do you'll have to have this. Faerie songs, Arthurian songs, Celtic ballads whispily and wonderfully woven in the chords of dulcimer and harp. I loved 'The Fairy Boy', 'Apples Avalon' and 'The Fairy Queen' especially, but the lovely and powerful renditions of the traditional 'Tam Lin' and 'Thomas the Rhymer' are every bit as good. Get this and drift away to the Otherworld.”
– 2012 Review by John Matthews (Celtic scholar and author) who gave Songs of the Otherworld 5 stars on Amazon
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