In my early twenties I was living in Salt Lake City and there was this band by the name of MaryMonique & The Trip I’d check out live every time I got the chance. I drove my friends crazy because I wanted to see them every weekend they played. They were fronted by Mary Tebbs and Mary wrote earnest, catchy songs that spoke to me many years ago. A few years back I found a cassette tape from MaryMonique & The Trip that I’d picked up at a show twenty plus years ago (long before cassette tapes became ironically hip). I popped the cassette into a prehistoric cassette player I had at the house. I vaguely remembered a few songs and I suppose they’ve held up well. But I noticed I no longer felt a connection to the music. I’ve changed so much since my twenties that the songs no longer spoke to me, in fact, they brought back mostly difficult and embarrassing memories and reminded me of a me that no longer exists.
This brings me to After It’s Said and Done the latest EP from Faith Evans Ruch the Memphis based former registered nurse turned full time musician. Unlike her debut album 1852 Madison which had a full band, her latest is a sparse, largely acoustic affair, featuring Ruch’s voice, acoustic guitar, and slide guitar. The six songs on the EP are simple and inviting, dealing with tied and true themes of lost love and heartache. I could imagine hearing these songs strummed by Ruch on the small stage in a San Antonio dive bar singing to the hardcore lost souls gathered on a Tuesday night. Despite her Memphis roots these songs sound more Texas heartache than Memphis Soul.
There is an accessibility to After It’s Said and Done. It’s an EP and artist that deserves a larger audience. I would think the record could appeal to some fans of both traditional country and popular country music. And it may have appealed to a younger version of me. The sincerity and simplicity of the songs will appeal to many listeners, particularly younger listeners. I can imagine many young ladies listening to these songs as they prepare to go out for a night on the town. Yet, Ruch’s voice is too controlled and reserved for me; like a young Anne Murray. I prefer vocals with more grit and heartfelt vulnerability. Lyrically, there is an overuse of cliches for my tastes. But just because this EP doesn’t appeal to a jaded, forty something blogger doesn’t mean it won’t have appeal for others. Give her official video to “Rock Me Slow” a viewing. If you enjoy it, by all means check out the entire EP.
After It’s Said and Done is on Spotify and available at iTunes. Faith Evans Ruch can also be found on Facebook.