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CD Reviews: Rubyhorse
Rubyhorse: Rise
August 2002
By: Lauren Jonik (
album cover of Rubyhorse's Rise


Standing just inches away from the edge of the stage in New York City's Bowery Ballroom on a cool May evening in 2002, as the lights arose and the music began, I was introduced to the world of Rubyhorse. As I stood shoulder to shoulder with the crowd and the music filled the night, there was an almost tangible joy that eminated from the stage. It was clearly evident how completely the members of the band were enjoying every moment--- and how willing they were to share that experience with those in front of them.

Originally hailing from Cork, Ireland and moving to the Boston, Massachusetts area in the late 1990s, the five man band poured their energies into honing their sound and following their dream---- whether it required practicing in a small room in an Irish meat factory or crossing the Atlantic with only a pocketful of determination and $1000 between them. But, a sixty week residency at the Irish pub, The Burren, in Boston set the stage for the band's continuing ascent. It was here that they began to build a following and gain the recognition from record labels that would eventually lead them to the opportunity to create Rise, which was released on Island/Def Jam in May 2002.

Produced by Jay Joyce in Nashville, TN, the eleven songs on the album span the range from the hopeful, resolute longings of Any Day Now to the power of choosing to believe in the best for yourself in Bitter. This is an album of celebrating all of our experiences--- both the successes and the struggles and remembering that even when it feels like forever, at its best, a moment only still lasts a moment. The first single, Sparkle, is especially uplifting. Like experiencing an awakening after the clouds have parted, singer Dave Farrell sings, "how you sparkle, how you shine, how you rise above the sky, and you rise and you rise." Punchdrunk, a notably stand-out track, was infused with an added touch of magic--- George Harrison played the slide guitar on the song. "I feel so close to the stars, but on the ground is where my feet belong." For Rubyhorse, perhaps, indeed the sky is the limit.