Originally born in Edinburgh, Ruarri Joseph found his songwriting roots in the southwestern Pacific. A move to New Zealand followed his parents' divorce. Joseph pined for the Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell records his father had played in his youth, and began to seek out music of his own, eventually finding his way to Nirvana, Mudhoney and Pearl Jam, taking in a little Britpop along the way.
At 17, Joseph packed his suitcase, picked up his guitar and departed for the lure of London, spending a year in a Deptford flat on the notorious Pepys estate (as seen in Gary Oldman’s 1997 film Nil By Mouth) before moving to Cornwall. Joseph returned to music writing with renewed purpose, perfecting an earthy, folk-leaning guitar style built on supple acoustic finger-picking and deep, warm vocals - earning him comparisons to early Dylan and Jack Johnson's laid-back acoustic jams.
Joseph's first independent release, the EP All Substance and No Style, brought him to the attention of Atlantic Records, who released Tales Of Grime and Grit. Both Sides Of The Coin followed on Joseph’s own label, Pip Productions, and proved to be a career-affirming achievement for the songwriter.
His follow-up release, Shoulder To The Wheel, was an equally freewheeling affair, refining Joseph's talent for poetic, toe-tapping folk ballads. The record peaked at number 5 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart and saw him earn comparisons to Damian Rice and David Gray, artists Joseph now shares management with.
That idea of family is one that beats strongly at the heart of Joseph's newest album, Brother. For Joseph, the word symbolizes "companionship, community and closeness" and is informed in part by the loss of a close friend who passed away, leaving behind a young son and a pregnant wife.
"He was great guy, and a great songwriter. His death was a wake up call for me; it made me re-evaluate my own attitude towards life and what it was I wanted. I realized I’d contained myself into this tiny bubble, and it made me want to get out and reconnect with the world."
The first song to emerge, 'Until The Luck Runs Dry', turned out as an ode to optimism. "It’s about getting on with it. "Brother isn’t an elegy," says Ruarri with a smile. "It’s a celebration."
'Dylan had he grown up in Newquay' - NME
'A breath of fresh air' - The Observer
'One of our best songwriters and lyricists' - The Times
'His voice is personable, his words affecting, and his melodies easy on the ear' - Q Magazine
'Sure to bring favourable comparisons to the likes of Dylan, Petty and Waits' - Indie London
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