Joe Marson

Early Show

Joe Marson

Ruby Amanfu

Thu, July 23, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY


This event is 21 and over

Joe Marson - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Joe Marson
Joe Marson is a Brooklyn transplant whose music resonates in the realm of alternative folk-rock, with a defiant bluesy edge. Marson delivers full-bodied, soulful ballads charged with slow thumping percussion, powerfully swelling harmonies and fervent, evocative lyricism.

A wanderer, Marson spent a good six years traveling the nation prior to settling in NY's best borough. That epoch gives marked spark to his songwriting. "I was soul searching and trying to find who I was, as a person as well as musically," Marson told Best New Bands, "I wanted to dip my toes in different experiences and genres before writing about them."

"The best musicians have real life experiences and real wisdom," he continued, "I needed to come from that place in order to feel authentic to myself. I've seen the lowest of lows that I can image and some pretty high highs. I write from those experiences."

Of his writing process, Marson added, "It's sort of a mystery to me, still. Sometimes the lyrics come slow, sometimes it's like squeezing blood from a rock." Yet, as evidenced by the way this musician has lived, Marson's work is built on intuition. His candidness lends discernible heart to his work, a trait most apparent in his live performances. His most recent video, for "Goddamit Julia," displays this quality expertly. Wearing his heart on his sleeve like a badge of honor, Marson's willingness to embrace exposure is a nod to accepting and sharing what makes us human.
Ruby Amanfu - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
Ruby Amanfu
Standing Still, the serenely stunning and incredibly intimate album by Nashville songbird Ruby Amanfu, will be released via Thirty Tigers / Rival & Co Records on August 28th. Ruby, backed by a six-piece band, created Standing Still in just five days, recording and living in a secluded log cabin in the rolling hills of Tennessee. Upon arrival at the cabin, producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris) strategically set up guitar and organ amps in bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and the basement, while Ruby set the stage, creating a mystical atmosphere for her performance by lighting candles and burning incense. The band formed a semi-circle in the living room and Standing Still reflects that intimacy. The entire album was recorded live, without bells, whistles or ProTools. “I felt at ease with my feet on those wood floors, gazing out those windows to the forest while I sang,” Ruby remembers. "It was simply nature and it was simply music - both in their purest forms. All that was left to do was breathe.”

Ruby Amanfu was born in Ghana, and her tight-knit family moved to Nashville when Ruby was just three. Ruby soaked up the sounds of Music City, and it wasn’t long before the town took notice of her incredible gift. By age fifteen Ruby was the youngest member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus as well as writing and recording her own material. Soon she was half of Sam & Ruby, whose 2009 album, The Here And The Now, was named Associated Press’s Album of the Year, and is considered a landmark in Nashville’s thriving pop scene. And Ruby has always been a first call as a studio vocalist, collaborating with artists as diverse as Kelly Clarkson, Jason Isbell, Norah Jones, Brittany Howard, Ben Folds, Hozier, Joy Williams, Jakob Dylan, Buddy Miller, Butch Walker, Alison Mosshart, Ann Wilson, Patti LaBelle and Wanda Jackson. In 2011, Ruby was hand-picked by Jack White to be his singing partner on his first solo album Blunderbuss. Their duet, “Love Interruption”, became Jack’s first hit as a solo artist, and Jack and Ruby performed an incendiary version of “Love Interruption” live at the 2013 Grammys.

In November of 2013, Ruby’s life and career took an unexpected turn. “I was performing at a benefit show called Dylan Fest in New York City, and I sang a Dylan song called ‘Not Dark Yet,’” she remembers. “The lyrics are so beautiful and poignant. They resonated with me, especially at that particular time in my life, and quite honestly, left me onstage in tears.” Ruby’s performance electrified the packed house, (which included Patrick Carney) and earned her a rapturous five-minute ovation. “It was a moment that I will never, ever, forget,” Ruby says, “I saw tears on peoples’ faces in the crowd, much like my own.”

After that show, Ruby huddled with the band and the producers of the show and a plan was hatched. “The idea was to choose a bunch of amazing, obscure songs that really fit what I was feeling at the time, and could sing like they were my own, and put them through the prism of myself with this band,” says Ruby, who is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter, for her song “Heaven’s My Home.” “I’d originally planned to release an album of all of my own songs, but sometimes the universe just leads you where you’re not expecting to go. Besides, all the greats have made albums of other peoples’ songs. From Aretha, to Emmylou, even Dylan. I felt I could follow in that tradition. I felt I had something to contribute."

“Every lyric I sang meant the world to me,” she says. “The five days we spent in the cabin making Standing Still feel like a dream…but it wasn’t just a dream, and we have the album to prove it.”


For more information on Ruby, please visit

Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002