WHO ARE THEY?
Music enthusiasts from all over the world probably know them as a rockabilly band, but there is more to them than ‘just a band’. If you have heard any of their achievements, the Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers are a world phenomenon when it comes to symphonizing and encompassing a good old fashion rockabilly with Texas honky-tonk! Did I mention they are from Austin, Texas? Sister city to Adelaide, South Australia. Yes they are, and yes it is. Both cities equally enjoying a love of music and a darn good time was had at the Gaslight Tavern in Brompton.
They are vocalist/songwriter Ruby Dee and guitarist Jorge Harada, and supported by Dylan Cavaliere on doghouse bass and on drums, Mike Smith. Ruby Dee has had a great 14 years of tours across the world with an amazing life changing experience year in, year out! With thousands of shows down the line and an array of albums trailing them, Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers have left a significant mark in the music industry. In 2007, Ruby won first runner’s up in a competition for Best Song in Songwriter Magazine, and in 2009 their fourth album MILES FROM HOME charted in the Texas Third Coast Music FAR Top 40 and the AMA Top 100 for more than a month.
Their reputation proceeds them and has resulted in numerous performances in clubs, festivals, events, and concerts. From North America to Australia through Europe, it’s safe to say they are doing it right. With crowd-pulling skills such as these, Ruby Dee was going places. Brace yourself, cause this year, Australia was their target audience . . . and they nailed it!
WHAT WENT DOWN?
Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers did, in fact, handle this continent. The band undoubtedly has given a stunning performance in Australia everytime. However, that came at a cost. You see some years back Ruby was involved in an accident that left her traumatized with injuries such as memory loss and language confusion. This had a huge effect on her career- limiting her, even making conversation. Therefore, these stunning performances and tours in Australia were not only for the fans but for her as well. After an incident as such, a comeback like this requires a standing ovation! Easy to do when it’s standing room only!
A GHOST FROM THE PAST
The ghosts from the past weren’t done with her yet. Still Australia, Ruby Dee has encountered some rough patches during tours. During the last leg, she caught something that was just excused as the common cold, but it turned out to be full-blown pneumonia. What are the chances of that? That’s not the whole of it. At a Friday night’s show after thy returned home, the crowd all notice her performance wasn’t exactly as energetic as we expected with a few wiggles here and there. Well, turns out, she had a fractured rib! It’s almost as if fate was against her. Sure a few shows had to be cancelled, but for those who caught the others….you know it was sheer magic!
LITTLE BLACK HEART
Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers have released their latest album, LITTLE BLACK HEART. I don’t know how deep the meaning goes, but the title is just enchanting. This thirteen track collection was the highlight of the tour, mostly because of the twelve songs in it that were written by Dee herself! That is just kickass!
The album is a general fuse or rockabilly (of course), RnB with a decent twist of country. The best part of this album is just how much was incorporated into every song. The instrumentals were crazy, with bass-filled flows and sax-symphonized tempos. The tracks are a feast and a half. It’s safe to say, we were not even for a moment disappointed by what we heard! For those who haven’t heard the songs, prepare for a banquet, it’s a celebration like no other. Do you want proof? Well, LITTLE BLACK HEART has been charting on the AMA charts and getting reviewed. A third, or thousandth point of view never hurt anybody. The high octane Americana rocking band is guaranteed to make you swingin’ it on out, this time, the variety offered welcomes all from blues, rockabilly, roots music lovers and RnB worshippers.
THE FUTURE OF RUBY DEE
It all came to a close, so we bid them goodbye, yet again. But if we are to take word from Ruby, the fact is she will be back in the near future, this time, all better with a fiery performance. The band is scheduled to have a tour in Europe as from mid-August next year, so if you are feeling extravagant, book your ticket and watch this prime performance.
– Chris Soleidis
Rockabilly Vintage Magazine- Adelaide, AU
RUBY DEE AND THE SNAKEHANDLERS Little Black Heart
(Catty Town Records) 2016