With a sound described as “idiosyncratic soul-infused indie”, Galway slacker rock artist Ruth Mac recently released her new single.
The Berlin-based musician was inspired to write ‘Home from Home’ during a trip back to Galway during lockdown, with lyrics like “Your cobblestones have turned to dust, it's been a while since you thought of us / I don’t know you, I don’t know you.”
She plays the Workman’s Cellar on Tuesday, 5th December, 2023 - tickets are available here.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
There’s a lot of artists and albums that I first heard at a very young age that are still a fundamental part of what inspires me today. Tom Waits' 'Closing Time' and 'Trio' by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Rondstadt are two albums in particular that I can remember singing along to at a really young age, and that I still return to time and time again all these years later. Also, John Prine was someone I listened to from a very young age because he spent a lot of time in my hometown Kinvara, and even used to join sessions in the local pub. I was an adult by the time I could fully appreciate how ingenious his songwriting is.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Did I eat?
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
A cold pint, some deep breaths and a good group hug with the band.
4. What’s the one song (by another artist) you wish you’d written or recorded first?
The first one that came to mind was 'Diamonds and Rust' by Joan Baez, such incredible lyrics. My second thought was 'Angels' by my boy Robbie Williams. Imagine writing that banger.
5. What is your pet peeve?
Poor listening skills – in conversation I mean, not music :)
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Record: 'La Llorana' by Lhasa De Sela. Her vocals just moved me so deeply the first time I heard them. I just find this record incredibly beautiful.
Book: 'Full Tilt' by Dervla Murphy, She has to be one of the most incredible Irish women ever. I don’t think she fully gets the legendary status that she deserves. This book was the first of many that she published over a most fascinating travel writing career. It’s essentially her diary of the journey she undertook on bicycle in 1963 from Lismore, Waterford to New Delhi, India. She sets off with little more than a bike, a backpack and a pistol. It’s epic.
Film: I really loved 'Kajillionaire' by Miranda July. I was fully enveloped in its real weird, off-kilter mood and the soundtrack is phenomenal.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Co-directed by Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan with Jennifer Coolidge playing me. I think I’d come across a LOT funnier than I am.
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Masala dosa from Chutnify in Neukölln, Berlin. Little side of dahl if I’m very hungry.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
Very lazy, no alarms. Sun's out, breakfast is coffee and pancakes on a balcony. Stroll down to the beach - lovely swim, dry off in the sun, munch some bread and hummus. Big, gentle cycle along the coast. Dinner al fresco with good music and dancing.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
So it’s Dec 5th in Workman's Cellar + Dec 7th in Mechanic’s Institute, Galway and you should come because I think the tunes are at their best in this full band, live setting AND my bass player Nick is an excellent dancer on stage.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
I'd recommend 'Have You Heard George’s Podcast?' by George the Poet. Each episode is an incredibly artistic journey through topics ranging from the Grenfell disaster to migration to George’s own experiences growing up in London and his Ugandan heritage. The new season just came out and I can’t wait to dig in.
Ruth Mac plays The Workman's Cellar on December 5th and the Mechanic's Institute in Galway on December 7th.