Singled Out: Ruby James
A few years back I had re-enrolled in college to get a degree. This also meant that I was giving up on the music business for good, or so I thought. I love books and so I enrolled in this advanced literature class. Firstly the readings themselves were quite complicated and then the class discussions proved to be even more complex. I could not figure out how some of these people were deriving all of these meanings from what we were reading. We were supposed to write a report for the book and I thought to myself… I have nothing to say, how am I possibly going to get through this? The one cool thing that I remembered our professor saying was that we shouldn't judge ourselves too harshly on whatever level we were at with the readings and everyone would get something out of it no matter how simple or how advanced we were with dissecting the books.
I tried to sit and focus on what I was getting out of this book "In the Skin of a Lion" by Michael Ondaatje. For me there was so much poetry in the lines and such beautiful imagery that it ultimately stirred me to write the song "Between Darkness and Light" which, in my opinion, has come to have some of the best lines I've written up to this point. I combined the inspiration from the readings with the massive pain I was in over a lost soul mate love at the time. Those two experiences, one scholastic and the other deeply emotional and personal, brought up the feelings for this song and explained the position I was in at the time so very well. I handed it in with a home recording as my report, truly thinking the teacher would not pass it. He gave me a B+ and pulled me aside after class to tell me he thought I should keep pursuing my music because I was good at it! His words encouraged me to go back to what I was meant to be doing and also helped me to understand that most of my depression was fueled by the fact that I had given up doing what I loved.
Six months after that everything turned around completely for me. I somehow found myself in Austin, TX starting a new album with several musical icons Will and Charlie Sexton and Mike Thompson from the Eagles. In three days, we laid down 11 tracks for an album that would end up being titled "Happy Now" and is finally being released this March 30th! "Between Darkness and Light" was really the catalyst for the whole journey. I wish I could find that teacher to thank him. Sadly I don't remember his name. Had I not taken his class and gotten stumped on that book and that assignment, I may have never broken down to write a song again. Well, likely I may have, but it makes for a good story anyway.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!