[17 August 2012]
Ruby Jane has musical talent in spades, and there is no way around noticing it. She’s an exceptionally gifted songwriter and vocalist and a world-class fiddle player. She was the youngest fiddle player to ever be invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she decided to go ahead and make Celebrity (Empire of Emptiness), which mostly shies away from her signature instrument and virtuoso playing to focus on her remarkable songwriting ability. She’s got the kind of voice that can bring a rowdy room to a hushed silence and backs it up with gorgeous arrangements. With topics ranging from mortality to desire handled gracefully, she’s shown an absurd amount of maturity for a 17-year-old. This kind of talent is extremely rare and when it’s matched with subtlety, it’s a breed near extinction. Celebrity (Empire of Emptiness) is a great record from an outstanding musician.