Nikki & The RueMates
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Nikki & The RueMates

Band Blues Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Twangy Two"

November 2008

A "Prairie Home Companion" talent-contest finalist when she was 16, Nikki Matteson comes of age on her new album, "We All Live Together," recorded with longtime partner Rich Rue as Nikki & the RueMates. Matteson's girly but piercing voice comes off as a charming mix of Memphis Minnie and Iris DeMent in country-blues originals such as "I Am Your Angel" and "Green Light II," while Rue's resophonic guitarwork raises the Muddy Waters and Blind Willie McTell covers from being mere coffeehouse workouts. The duo, rounded out by bassist Carrie Dean, promote the disc tonight at the Nomad with Spider John Koerner (9 p.m., $5). - Star Tribune

"CD Review"

November 2008

Another young woman with a classic sound is Nikki Matteson, whose band Nikki and the RueMates introduce their new album, "We All Live Together," tonight at the Nomad World Pub. Matteson, who won the annual "A Prairie Home Companion" talent contest at the age of 16, sings like it's 1967 and she's auditioning for Elektra Records, with songs that add psychedelic flourishes to pre-rock-era country and blues. Appropriately, the band is on a bill with "Spider" John Koerner. - Pioneer Press

"We All Live Together CD Review"

January 2009

Americana/roots music is written for the broken hearted, lonely, lost souls who wander through the shadows of watering holes in search of love, piece of mind, music and a cold drink. Through gritty acoustic guitars, soulful vocals Nikki and the Ruemates We All Live Together captures this with a mixture of 11 country/blues songs that satisfy like a cold drink on a hot day.

The opening track “Burning Up” shuffles with a slow groove that confidently struts like a broken hearted woman across a dingy bar. The guitars call and respond to each other with minimalistic drums and lead licks that are the Tobasco on your eggs. The song lays the track for this heartbroken album to roll on as Nikki’s vocals ooze the soul out of thin air on the bouncy unsatisfied blues tracks “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and “Down on Me.”

“I am Your Angel” hints at Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” but paints a lonesome landscape like a Neil Young ballad. The accordion hums in the background as a slight touch of hand drum taps out an accented rhythm as the reso-guitar slides out an easy-going groove.

The album veers off its roots rails as it delves into a bazaar psycodelic-folk jam in “I am a Tree.” Nikki’s Grace Slick like vocals soar over a droning sitar-like guitar as it gives way to the record’s other atmospheric jam, “Breezy Air.” While both of these songs would be great soundtracks for the end of a party when you’re down to the last drags of your cigarette, they don’t mesh well with the rest of the bluesy country vibe of We All Live Together.

As the waves recede, “Green Light II” brings the Ruemates back to their roots shore with its island vibe with a rolling xylophone and sunny harmonies. The blues drenched “Lonesome Day Blues” has a groove that is perfect for chilling out on the porch with a cold drink watching the cars roll by.

Call me simple minded, but I enjoy “New Bumble Bee” as it rollicks and rolls through obvious metaphors of a bee and his stinger. That being said, the song is a lot of fun to listen to not only lyrically, but the guitars get a chance to cut loose.

On the closing track (besides an alternate version of Green Light II), “Sleepless Nights” stands out as a country gem that could hold its own against the standards. A weeping pedal steel cries in the distance as Nikki’s longing voice yearns for a lost love. The rest of the Ruemates blend their harmonies perfectly as a finely picked guitar hammers out a soulful solo.

The straight forward, no frills attitude of We All Live Together is what makes roots music, roots music. That’s what I like about it. Nikki and the Ruemates aren’t reinventing the wheel on this one, but they’ve captured the soul of roots music.
- Rift


Nikki & The RueMates have a CD titled "We All Live Together" that was released in October, 2008. Rich Rue & Nikki Matteson released a CD featuring them as a duo in 2003 titled "American Idle".

The RueMates have some songs on their myspace page:

For Nikki & The RueMates sound samples go to CDBABY



Nikki & The RueMates music includes a heavy dose of country blues, with Nikki on guitar and singing songs done by past blues greats such as Memphis Minnie and Muddy Waters, and Rich playing finger style on resophonic slide and “regular” guitars. Carrie is the most recent addition (on bass). They also play folk music including spirituals, ballads, country and old timey, and music with a more Caribbean and rock flair, as well as original music collaborated on by Nikki and Rich.

Their sound is rootsy, with nice three-part harmonies being one of the group’s strengths. In the past, Nikki was a finalist on the “Prairie Home Companion” Annual Talent Contest at the ripe old age of 16. Guitarist Rich Rue is well known in Twin Cities circles for work with bands including The Hightops. Now in her 20s, Nikki and the RueMates are part of the Twin Cities vibrant acoustic music scene. They’ve played at the legendary Viking Bar on the West Bank, performed on radio programs such as “House Party,” “Urban Folk” and “Womenfolk” on KFAI, and played for Jackson Buck’s “Juke Joint Series” at the 331 Club. At the Hat Trick Lounge in St. Paul The RueMates have been trading in their acoustic show for an electric one featuring an authentic 60s psychedelic light show. They also have an ongoing friends jam at the Red Stag in Northeast Minneapolis every Sunday night.