Local Gold: Ruby Joyful

In an interview with Greg Schultz on KGNU, Colorado-based band Ruby Joyful performs live and discusses their music and upcoming performances. Band members Dan, Joice, and Lizzy share insights about their new record, “The Pie Chart of Love” (Interview date: 5/16/2024)

Greg Schultz: Alright folks, we’re gonna go to the Kabaret studio right now, and we’ve got some live music queued up, and we have Ruby Joyful in the studio. How you guys doing today?

Ruby Joyful: We’re so good.

Greg Schultz: Alright, good to have you guys in here. They’re in here to play some tunes, folks. They’re a Colorado band, of course, out of Paonia.

They’re gonna be headlining the show tonight at the Swallow Hill Music Hall. Their new record is called The Pie Chart of Love, and I got a chance to listen to some of them. It’s fantastic. I’m really digging it. Why don’t we just break into a couple of tunes.

We’ll come back and talk a little bit, introduce who’s here today and go from there and find out what’s happening. So take it away.

All right, man. Wow, that’s fantastic. Love that.

And we’re talking to Dan, Joice, and Lizzy. Thanks so much for coming in guys and making the trek to Boulder here.

So let’s just jump in and talk about those two songs real quick. Those are self penned songs I’m sure. And then maybe you can talk a little bit about the new record that you got coming out, which is fantastic.

Ruby Joyful: Heck yeah. All the songs are original. And the genesis of all of it is basically Joice and I fell in love seven years ago.

So it’s all just about the mad love affair, and she opened up the creative pathways in my brain to write good songs for the first time in my life, turning 50 years old. The last one “The Same Day” it’s just a beautiful thought, basically, that you love someone so much that you can’t stand the thought of living one day without them.

So you basically want to die on the same day. It’s a little morbid, but it’s also beautiful. And “10 to 1” is the song that kicks off the album. And it was written after the right before the 2020 election, actually. Thinking goddammit, we’re gonna win this, and love is gonna prevail.

Love wins, and it happened to be poker night the night before that, so there you go. Ten to one, love wins, and it just stuck.

Greg Schultz: Oh, that’s catchy, I like that. That’s a beautiful sentiment, and it’s fantastic that you’re able to gather all those songs and thoughts and put them in these beautiful tunes with your wonderful wife and Lizzy, and we’re just happy to have you here, this is fantastic.

You had this show coming tonight, and I think that’s what I want to talk a little bit about. Swallow Hill, KGNU presents, 8 o’clock, I believe. Tell the folks what they can expect tonight when they venture down to Denver.

Ruby Joyful: It’s probably not what you would expect with the three of us playing right here.

Actually, Joice and I are the genesis of  Ruby Joyful, but playing tonight with us on this tour and the final night at Swallow Hill, are some incredible musicians. It’s just not the run of the mill thing. We’re very lucky to have them. On mandolin is Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmett.

On banjo is Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorne. On dobro from Nashville is Rob Ickes, who plays with Trey Hensley. These days, he’s about as great as it comes. Lizzy has joined us on fiddle, which is fantastic. It really fills everything out. And Drew’s son, Eli, is playing with us. Drew Emmett, an up Eli Emmett, an up and coming guitarist, who is absolutely ripping, is with us as well.

Tonight, it’s Swallow Hill. Tonight Andy Thorne will not be joining us. He’s been with us this whole time and we absolutely love and adore him. He’s headed to Tico Time to play this weekend.

Greg Schultz: That’s an all star band right there for sure. Everybody on the front range knows Drew and if you listen to KGNU and Robbie Ickes and Drew’s son and Lizzy. That’s just fantastic and I’m looking forward to the show. I’ll definitely be there to check it out.

But yeah, those first two songs were great. One other thing I wanted to ask you was, you put this kind of together seven years ago. Are you out touring around? What have you been doing, and let the folks know maybe where they can find you on social media, before we head on down the road here and take you out with another tune?

Ruby Joyful: You can find us on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms. You can find us on Instagram, YouTube, and our website is rubyjoyfulband.com. We’re all over. But really, Joice and I were just playing gigs with our various band make ups. And then Drew and Andy joined us to help us kick the album off in the studio.

And that really changed everything. So for the last couple of years we’ve been putting the album together with a real pro Nashville engineer. Drew’s been calling his friends. And we just have the most amazing people on this album. Stuart Duncan is playing fiddle on the album, and of course Rob Ikes is doing dobro. John Prine’s last piano player is on the album, it’s pretty damn sweet.

Greg Schultz: Yeah, that’s exciting, it’s exciting for you guys, it’s exciting for us to have you in here and to just share your music with the folks and hope you all can get out there tonight. I always love having music here, it’s a real treat for me. Again, thanks for making the detour up here to Boulder to make this happen this morning.

We’re just happy and proud to have you on. That’s right folks: tonight Swallow Hill, 8 o’clock.

Ruby Joyful: I know a bunch of folks are in town for the Billy Strings concert, it starts tomorrow. So if you’re looking for something to do tonight and wanna see some really sweet pickers that won’t be playing nearly as fast as they will up on Billy’s stage.

But if you wanna see them play, do their craft to some slower beats per minute Swallow Hill tonight for sure.

Greg Schultz: Yeah. And if you haven’t been, folks, it’s such a great venue. It’s beautiful. It this just a wonderful sound and warmth and great vibe there. And the people are great. But yeah, come on down, man.

Come on out. All listen, why don’t you take us out with another tune and then go rest up for the show. And we appreciate, again, you coming on this morning and sharing your music and your love for each other right here on KGNU. And so what do you have for us? What are you gonna take us out with there?

Ruby Joyful: It’s a song called “Fiddler’s Lament”, so it’s gonna spotlight Lizzy on this. She is quite a talent and you will see her playing around Colorado. So if you get a chance to see Lizzy Plotkin around Colorado this summer, don’t miss it. Because she’s quite a talent and this song is right for her.

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Anya Sanchez


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