Track Premiere: Martin Ruby “Marfa”

Martin Ruby – who also goes under the name Marco North – is a songwriter who finds a lot to draw on for inspiration in his life.  He started off in the New York music scene with, as he says, “Jeff Buckley literally played two doors over.”  He recalls playing in the World Trade Centre, he recalls watching them fall.  Then there’s the twist of fate which has led him to live in Moscow for the last fourteen years.

At the age of two his daughter was kidnapped by her mother and whisked away to Moscow – following her there eventually led to Marco becoming a resident and happily remarried and accompanied by his by then  five-year-old daughter.  At that point he started writing the music that would become his new album ‘Heaven get Behind Me‘.

Speeaking of today’s premiere Marco North said: “My friend Marfa was being stalked by this nutty guy, and she blocked him – so, he started sending me these long letters thinking I would pass them along to her. That’s what sparked this song into being. A lot of people assume it is an elaborate metaphor for a town in Texas, but it is just about wanting to be heard, wanting to tell the ugly, messy truth to someone and be understood for once. That is a tall order, and a burden and he knows it. All the same – he cannot resist unloading remorse on this person he barely knows.   Songs that are confessions seem like a great idea, but are damn hard to perform. As a singer, you have to pull on someone else’s coat and walk around in the rain for a while, get wet, get cold, get lonely and then let it all hang out staring into a microphone. The moment it sounds manufactured or inauthentic, the whole thing falls apart. I had to get comfortable singing emotionally naked as the solution. No headphones on, all alone in my living room, singing to the walls – that’s how I recorded this and it was not easy.  “This is all a movie, got to learn how to lie.” That’s the private life of any filmmaker as much as a twisted-up stalker. We all have common ground, the same basic wishes and regrets. At the end of the day, an apology is an apology.

Photo: Eve North

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About Jonathan Aird 2034 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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  1. Americana UK debuts lead single, “Marfa,” from Martin Ruby (aka Marco North), in advance of his debut LP, Heaven Get Behind Me (out 11/20 via WhistlePig Records)

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