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"Spill It: CD Release Mania"

On debut release, Rock-N-Roll Conceived: "a very accomplished collection of well crafted blues and roots inflected rock songs"

For full article:
http://www.citybeat.com/current/musicspillit.shtml - CityBeat (4/20/5)

"Elliott Ruther Trio: Group salutes music's great minds while raising mental health awareness with new CD"

"Paying homage to giant minds, Elliott Ruther Trio releases its latest CD, Rock-n-Roll Conceived, as a tribute to music's contagious nature. Remixing affection for rock with a passion for advocacy, ERT hopes to shake up mainstream minds.

Ruther's voice, a rapid-fire Neil Young style, evokes old school folk set on a rocket launcher. His clever lyrics are armed with poetic humor, and his songs are reminiscent of early funk - the dynamics are hard to pin down...

Literally, rock 'n' roll conceived."

For full article:
http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050420/ENT03/504200338/1046 - CiN Weekly (4/20/5)

"Ruther writes with respect: Singer-songwriter's new songs honor his hometown's history"

"Elliott Ruther's obsession with King Records and the other howling sounds of Cincinnati's yesteryear reverberates in his song "Rock-N-Roll Conceived." Ruther recorded the song last year, and today it sees its official release as the title track to his debut CD.

"Wouldn't you rather be where rock 'n' roll was conceived?" sings Ruther amid lyrics that reference a laundry list of those names and songs - from "Train Kept a Rollin' " to Bootsy Collins - that were Cincinnati's contribution to the rock landscape.

Ruther says he was inspired by a 2004 MidPoint Music Festival advertisement putting forth the notion that rock 'n' roll might have been born in Memphis, but it was conceived in Cincinnati.

The ad then asked: "Where you rather spend your weekend?"

From there Ruther filled out the rest of the song with a lyrical love letter to his hometown's rock history, and "Rock-N-Roll Conceived" in turn has become something of a MidPoint theme song.

"Music is all about paying respects ºand tributes," Ruther says. "All of my favorites - Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the White Stripes - do it. I just want to be part of the larger movement doing it for Cincinnati because it's real fun, and it hasn't been done enough."

For full article:
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050421/ENT04/504220334/1029 - The Cincinnati Enquirer (4/21/5)

"Elliott Ruther prefers his 'unplugged' loud"

"With an infectious love of Cincinnati's musical heritage and a partnership with an edgy modern rock producer, singer-songwriter Elliott Ruther is releasing his debut CD this week that shows acoustic music can rock.

Ruther's "Rock-in-Roll Conceived" flashes a gritty, loud, in-your-face sound with his mostly acoustic trio, proving that it isn't written anywhere that unplugged music has to be quiet music.

"I still think there is a lot of fun to be had rocking with an acoustic guitar. It doesn't have to be stuck on a folk singer," Ruther said. "You even think about Elvis kicking a door down with an acoustic guitar. Yes, there can be danger out there with an acoustic guitar. There is still a lot of ground to cover with it."

Ruther hooked up with childhood schoolmate, Bob Gayol, the former member of Moth now with the Virgins. Gayol encouraged Ruther to record, then produced and played on the album, giving what Ruther calls "a rustic acoustic spike" to his songs anchored by Ruther's Dylan-esque nasal vocals with a folk punk edge.

The centerpiece for the album is Ruther's "Rock-n-Roll Conceived in Cincinnati," a heartfelt salute to the legacy of King Records with such lyrics as "Give me that Brown backbeat/ Give me dat Delmore Dance/ Bring me that Ballard bang/ Send me to Ron Isley's trance," referencing artists that recorded here from James Brown and the Isley Brothers to the Delmore Brothers and Hank Ballard.

It was only after Ruther returned here from a college stint, getting in touch with his musical inspirations that he realized some of the seminal R&B, country and rock songs were recorded here in the 1950s.

"I got to the point that I really needed to get out of me a respect for the town," Ruther said of the song. "Growing up I never knew how much of the stuff that I loved was rooted in this town."

The Elliott Ruther Trio will perform at an in-store CD release gig 7 p.m. Friday at Shake-It Records, Northside. A CD listening party is scheduled for 10 p.m. Friday at Coopers on Main, Over-the-Rhine."

For full article:
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050421/LIFE01/504210327/1006/LIFE - The Cincinnati Post (4/21/5)

"The Historian: Elliott Ruther: Is Cincinnati the next big thing in the music scene?"

Call him a scholar of local music: Cincinnati native and veteran MidPoint performer Elliott Ruther doesn't just support local music, he studies it. The lead singer-songwriter for hybrid blues-indie-rock outfit Elliott Ruther Trio, Ruther's interest and stake in the local scene were jump-started when his musical interests led him down a more historical route.

"Growing up in town, I had no idea how much great music came from Cincinnati," Ruther says. "Now I've discovered how full-circle things are and how much of a need there is to appreciate and salute what came out of town."

Who knew that James Brown recorded his seminal funk hits "Sex Machine" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" right here in Cincinnati? For Ruther, it's basic 'Nati trivia. Some music fans might already know the Queen City's connection to pivotal 20th century blues, soul and funk music, but Ruther says we all need to wake up to our musical roots.

Recording and pressing records from an Evanston warehouse, local label King Records released 461 hits between 1944 and 1970. Rock standards such as "The Twist," "Fever" and, of course, the Godfather of Soul's numerous hits were original King recordings, produced right here in Cincinnati.

Just as King Records founder Syd Nathan made a name for Cincinnati with King Records, Ruther says that MidPoint has the momentum to rejuvenate the city's music-loving spirit today.

"We've got a claim on the conception of rock and roll, funk ... We've got some claims that, for whatever reason, we haven't taken - but I think that's changing," Ruther says.

MidPoint's success over the past two years is a sign that perhaps Cincinnati will be the next town to hit it big, Ruther says.

Ruther has a few words of advice for MidPoint rookies: Have fun and let it all out.

"You're not going to have a better audience to play to," he says. For Ruther, who will play his third MidPoint showcase this weekend, the festival isn't just a chance to see his favorite local and regional bands play at packed clubs in the same downtown strip. It's a matter of pride. "It's personal. It excites me on a personal level, and heck, it gives me pride about the town," he says. "I want to rock and roll here in this town and be proud of it. At MidPoint, you can do that."

For full article:
http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040922/COV/409220319 - CiN Weekly (9/22/4)

"Elliott Ruther Trio MPMF preview"

"Elliot Ruther Trio (Cincinnati) Alternative/Indie -- Taking cues from Nirvana by way of
Howlin' Wolf while passing the exit for Led Zeppelin, the Elliot Ruther Trio rocks your face
with guitar driven Indie Pop. Vocalist Ruther has a distinctive voice, an ear for a melody and
lyrics that are clever without being coy. Dig It: Electric Bob Dylan, acoustic Nirvana,
solar-energy powered Johnny Cash (DJ)"

For full article: http://www.citybeat.com/2004-09-22/cover3.shtml - CityBeat (9.23.4)

"The Etiquette of Violence/ Show Review"

"These guys are from Cincinnati... Oh my god!"

For link:
http://www.kdhx.org/playlist.php?date=2005-02-27&show=Etiquette%20of%20Violence - (St. Louis) 88.3FM KDHX

"A Year to Hear -- Best Local Release 2005"

CITYBEAT: A YEAR TO HEAR -- Best Local Releases of 2005

Elliott Ruther Trio: Rock-N-Roll Conceived (in Cincinnati)

From Punk, Rock, Folk and Funk to politics and religion, the Elliott Ruther Trio's 2005 disc was a spirited, memorable debut. The album is a potent combination of message and emotion, delivered with rawness and guided by Ruther's literate, guttural musings about his personal salvation. Sounding akin to the Violent Femmes fronted by a soulful Bob Dylan, Ruther's uncommon wordsmithery is the powerful hook in each track. (Sean Rhiney)

- CityBeat

"Hottest funky rock players in the city"

Ruther has gone from solo/acoustic newbie to Rock God in the space of a few years. The clever politico stacked the deck in his favor with producer Bob Gayol (former MOTH) and a backing band of the hottest funky Rock players in the city; their improv excursions are pure bliss. ERT's musical tribute to King Records and Cincinnati's musical heritage was MPMF's 2004 theme song. Dig it: Led Zeppelin, Aquarium Rescue Unit, a juiced-up Randy Newman backed by WAR. (EW) - CityBeat (9/21/5)

"Best of Cincinnati 2007: Night and Day"

Elliott Ruther and Marvin Hawkins spend much of their day the same way many employees working for government bureaucracies do — attending budget hearings and committee meetings, taking constituent telephone calls and doing research on legislative issues.

How Ruther and Hawkins spend many of their nights, however, is an entirely different matter.

Both men work for Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley. Ruther, a high school classmate of Cranley’s, is his chief of staff; Hawkins is a legislative aide.

Outside City Hall, the staffers are familiar faces among music lovers who frequent the city’s concert venues, bars and nightclubs. Ruther and Hawkins are semi-professional musicians and regularly play gigs around town, an activity that stands in sharp contrast to their button-down day jobs.

Ruther, 33, is a singer/songwriter who plays guitar and is known for his songs that mix Folk with a Beatles-esque Rock sensibility. Hawkins, 31, is a singer who plays drums, keyboard and bass, specializing in Funk, Hip Hop and Soul.

Hawkins performs both with his band, Marvin and the Experience, and as a solo artist. He’s also toured as a member of others bands, like Admiral Walker, as a musician and backup vocalist.

Working at City Hall, with its political machinations and testy officials, has actually helped their musical careers to a degree, they say — albeit in different ways.

“Sometimes the day job can be very inspiring for what you put out at night,” Ruther says. “Music can be a release for a mood or a message you want to get across.”

As an example, Ruther cites a song he wrote two years ago while his boss was in the midst of a budget battle over funding for a mass transit agency. The tune, entitled “Upon Reading the Minutes of the SORTA Board,” harkens back to the 1960s style of political songs produced by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.

For Hawkins, the job has allowed him to learn how to be a better negotiator and get along with a wide variety of people, skills that are essential in the music industry.

“Music has always been my passion,” Hawkins says. “This job has given me my game face. Politics and music go hand in hand. Some of the best politicians are people in the music industry, honestly.”

Hawkins is a 1993 graduate of the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. While there, he received training in ballet, opera, drama, instrumental music and both classical and musical theater. He started his first musical group in 10th grade along with fellow classmates Nick and Drew Lachey, who later went onto gain fame with 98 Degrees, the popular late 1990s boy band.

After high school, Hawkins had parts in several Off Broadway productions and, beginning in 2001, a nine-month stint in Asia and the Pacific Islands. During that period, his credits included some major label recordings, a television special with Japanese pop artist Hira Ken and performing the Korean FIFA World Cup Soccer Team theme song.

Meanwhile, Ruther gradated from St. Xavier High School and spent much of his time focusing on politics, including helping manage Cranley’s congressional campaign last year. Music has been more of a sidelight for Ruther, although he’s played at the MidPoint Music Festival and Jammin’ on Main and has performed with several local musicians, including the bass player from Heartless Bastards.

About his City Hall job, Ruther says, “It’s a little unusual, but it speaks a lot about John. There were two things that forged our friendship: We’re both Democrats, and we both dug The Beatles.”

Despite their similar interests, Hawkins met Ruther only when the former interviewed for a job with Cranley or, as Hawkins calls it, auditioned.

“I say ‘audition’ because everything I do is an audition,” he says.

It turns out that City Hall is a veritable melting pot for the musically inclined.

Besides Ruther and Hawkins, other municipal workers with musical backgrounds include Ryan Adcock, son of former Health Commissioner Dr. Malcolm Adcock and an aide for Mayor Mark Mallory who’s a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter; Ed Cunningham, a worker in the Buildings and Inspections Department who’s leader of the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars; and Pat Ewing, an economic development officer who also performs locally.

In fact, there are so many musicians in City Hall’s marble and granite offices that they teamed up shortly after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans to do a lunchtime concert at nearby Centennial Plaza to raise money for hurricane victims.

Additionally, Ruther and Hawkins have teamed up to promote creating a local museum celebrating the history of King Records. The record label, started in 1943 by Syd Nathan and based in Cincinnati, is best known among music historians for recording early work by Country crooner Hank Williams and “Godfather of Soul” James Brown.

The record label also is known for showcasing such early “hillbilly music” singers as Homer and Jethro, Grandpa Jones - CityBeat (3/07)


LP: ELLIOTT RUTHER: Rock-N-Roll Conceived

"From Punk, Rock, Folk and Funk to politics and religion, Elliott Ruther's new CD is a spirited, memorable debut" (CityBeat)
"Evokes old school folk on a rocket launcher" (CiN Weekly)
"Elliott Ruther's obsession with King Records and the other howling sounds of Cincinnati's yesteryear reverberates" (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"A very accomplished collection of well crafted blues and roots inflected rock songs" (CityBeat)

KDHX, 88.1 FM, St. Louis, MO, WAIF, 88.3 FM, Cincinnati, OH, and WOXY, Cincinnati, OH.

For a limited time, you can download Elliott Ruther's entire mental health sesquilalbum -- "golightly mean mean reds" -- on three myspace pages:




1st time we played out we got to perform for The Great Mr. Philip Paul while honoring Cincinnati's King Records. Sometimes we become The Syd Natanists.