Many moons ago, I spent a year living in Canada. During that time I came to know and love a lot of great Canadian music – and so much of it is really great. So if you see the odd Canadian on this blog, that’s the reason: I’m always willing to listen to Canadian music. And never more so than in the case of Ruth Moody, whose album These Wilder Things is a work of incredible beauty. Ruth is about to tour Australia, and she answered a handful of questions by email ahead of her arrival.

Canada has a robust indie music scene. For a while Halifax was the epicentre but the prairies are producing fantastic music. What’s the music scene like in Winnipeg? 
Winnipeg is a great town for music. I don’t know quite what it is – whether it’s the cultural diversity or the fact that the winters are long and harsh, and buckling down with music is one way in which people are able to cope. Whatever it is, it’s a thriving scene. There is a lot of cross-pollination between genres too, which is cool. There are also two great organizations in Winnipeg  that offer support and resources to artists right from when they are first getting started to later on in their careers. It makes a huge difference. 

You’re holding a banjo in a photo in your CD – is the banjo your first love as an instrument?
I do love the banjo. I actually haven’t been playing that long – my first instrument was piano and or course voice, but in the end I didn’t follow a classical path with either of those. I started playing guitar in my mid-twenties and then banjo a couple of years after that. I think the reason I love the banjo so much is that it doesn’t hold any emotional baggage for me. And it is ridiculously fun to play – I highly recommend it. 

Why did you choose Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ to cover? 
I just learned it one day for fun – I thought it would be cool to put a folky spin on it, and also thought it was interesting to think of the lyrics from a female perspective. When I brought it to the band and everyone added their ideas, it kind of ended up taking on a life of its own, and we knew we had to record it.

Coming back to Australia, does it feel at all like a parallel universe? If your parents hadn’t decided to move back to Canada, you could be playing Tamworth every year …
Well I don’t actually know about Tamworth, but it sounds like I should! Sign me up! I’m really excited to come back to Australia. I do sometimes wonder who I’d be if I’d grown up there – I’d certainly have more of a tan, I reckon. I have a lot of Aussie relatives, and I’ve been back several times, some of them particularly formative times in my life, so I feel a very strong tie.

Ruth Moody in Australia

Thursday, February 19th Marrickville Camelot Lounge
Admission: $25/$30. 
Address: 19 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204. 

Friday, February 20th Milton Milton Theatre
Admission: $34. 
Address: 69 Princes Hwy, Milton NSW 2538. 
Venue phone: (02) 4454 3636. 

Saturday, February 21st Candelo Candelo Town Hall
Admission: $20/$25. 
Address: William St (Cnr Eden St) Candelo, NSW 2550.

Sunday, February 22nd Yackandandah Yackandandah Town Hall
Address: High Street, Yackandandah.
Wednesday, February 25th Ararat The Red Room

Thursday, February 26th Adelaide Trinity Sessions @ Adelaide Fringe
Admission: $33/$36. 
Address: 318 Goodwood Rd, Clarence Park, Adelaide, South Australia 5034 SA. 

Friday, February 27th North Fremantle Mojo’s
Admission: $25. 
Address: 237 Queen Victoria St, North Fremantle WA 6159. 
Venue phone: +61 8 9430 4010. 

Saturday, February 28th Nannup Nannup Music Festival
Address: Lot 31 Warren Rd, PO Box 216 Nannup WA 6275. 
Venue phone: 0897561511. 

Sunday, March 1st Nannup Nannup Music Festival
Box office: 0897561511. 
Address: Lot 31 Warren Rd, PO Box 216 Nannup WA 6275. 
Venue phone: 0897561511. 

Wednesday, March 4th Carlton Melbourne Folk Club
Admission: $28/$30. 
Address: Bella Union Trades Hall 54 Victoria St, Carlton VIC 3053. 
Venue phone: 03 9650 5699. 

Thursday, March 5th Oakleigh Caravan Club
Admission: $28-$35. 
Address: 95/97 Drummond St, Oakleigh VIC 3166. 
Venue phone: +61 3 9568 1432. 

Friday, March 6th Geelong Port Fairy Folk Festival
Box office: 03 5568 2227. 
Address: Geelong VIC. 

Saturday, March 7th Geelong Port Fairy Folk Festival
Box office: 03 5568 2227. 
Address: Geelong VIC. 

Sunday, March 8th Geelong Port Fairy Folk Festival
Box office: 03 5568 2227. 
Address: Geelong VIC.