Review of Ruth Hill’s The River Beneath Me

Lucky Clark/

I positively love to discover new talent–especially Maine-based talent–so it is with great pleasure that I bring the music of Ruth Hill to your attention! To begin with, I received a burned copy of her debut CD entitled “The River Beneath Me” from Jud Caswell (who plays acoustic guitar and provides harmonies on many of the 12 tracks that make up this fine album) and Hill sent an e-mail with information concerning the musicians who helped out on the album. There’s an air of melancholy to some of the tracks but the over-all feel is one of hope and redemption; and that brings up one of Hill’s strengths: storytelling of the finest kind. That powerful imagery on each and every song brings such topics as the war in Iraq (“Jessica”), of finding peace in nature (the title track), and the true story of her running away from home at 15 with her boy friend and hitchhiking to Canada (“Old Man’s Hat”) to vivid clarity; some songs will break your heart (“When I Grow Up,” which is harder-hitting than anything I’ve heard before) while others show you that music can take you anywhere you wish to go (“Larry’s Guitar”). Oh, and there is one cover tune here: “The Cuckoo,” which is a traditional song but one she makes her own. When all is said and done, I was extremely impressed with this acoustic folk album (with its overtones of bluegrass, country and blues) and encourage everyone to check out Ruth Hill’s debut CD–she is a talented newcomer on the Maine music scene and one who deserves to be heard!

Lucky Clark has spent over four decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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