Rodeo Ruby Love
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Rodeo Ruby Love

Bloomington, Indiana, United States

Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Pop Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Show Review - Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade"

Click on direct link for text. - The Backstage Beast

"Show Review - Spokane, WA at The Knitting Factory"

The ska rocking people from Spokane enjoyed a night full of amazing ska music from legends Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto last Wednesday night.

Opening bands Rodeo Ruby Love and Lionize opened up the night before hour long sets from both Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto. Rodeo Ruby Love brought an indie vibe with their upbeat tunes while the second act Lionize played a more soulful guitar lead music.

After the two short opening acts the night really began with the first of the co-headliners, Reel Big Fish. Old, Experience and timeless Reel Big Fish came out on stage and rocked the Kitting Factory with their humorous stage presence and personalities. Jumping in unison and spinning around Reel Big Fish had the crowd jumping so much that between sets most fans sat down during the stage set up for the next band.

Up next was the final act of the night Streetlight Manifesto. Bring a more punk rock with ska influenced music. Fronted by their horn section and then Tomas Kalnoky. Streetlight Manifesto played many of their hits including Would You Be Impressed, A Better Place, A Better Time and, We Will Fall Together. With two amazing ska bands with two different distinct sounds this show was a show no ska fan would have wanted to miss. Be sure to catch both of these bands before the end of their tour. Enjoy the photos below from the Spokane show at the Knitting Factory. - ME Review

"Interview - Artistic Taste: Rodeo Ruby Love"

Zach Melton started solo, formed a seven-piece, stripped it back down and then built it back up to seven once again. The good news? Rodeo Ruby Love is all the stronger for it. The band’s founder recently took a few minutes to let us in on his Artistic Taste, including his surprising love of Aretha Franklin.

What’s an album that you found without the assistance of radio or TV?

Clem Snide - The Ghost of Fashion
I went to see Ben Folds on the Rockin’ the Suburbs tour in 2001. Clem Snide opened for him, but they only had two members present. I liked the music, but not enough to buy a CD. My buddy Dan bought one and later persuaded me to give it a listen. To this day it remains one of my favorite albums.

What album is an outlier for your musical taste?

Tarentel – Paper White
I normally listen to melodic music with hooks and choruses and the like. My brother-in-law worked at Secretly Canadian Distribution for a while and he would give me all kinds of things to listen to. He gave me Tarentel’s Paper White/Big Black Square and immediately I was drawn in by the driving drums and the wisps of noises surrounding them. While their other releases can become a little to loose for me, Paper White, especially the first song, “Isalais Straight,” is so good.

What is the most aggressive album that you love?

7 Angels 7 Plagues – Jhazmyne’s Lullabye
There are other metal and hardcore albums that are much more aggressive than this that I like a lot, but none that I truly love. With Jhazmyne’s Lullabye, every song is a combination of brutal and beautiful, like Hopesfall tried to do, but less cheesy. I am not a fan of the deep guttural scream. This is the one exception. Somehow they discovered a formula that made it work with their heavy and melodic hardcore/metal.

Name an album in your collection that’s way under-produced?

Elephant Micah – Hindu Windmills/Plays the Songs of the Bible Birds
I couldn’t decide which album I like better, so I put two on this one. Elephant Micah is known for his lo-fi recordings and his masterful songwriting. Hindu Windmills probably has my favorite songs on it, but Songs of the Bible Birds flows so well as an album that it is hard to overlook. Plus, I’m a sucker for religious themes and he does it very well on this one.

What greatest hits or live album is your favorite by an artist?

Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace
Live at the Fillmore West used to be my favorite Aretha album until I discovered Amazing Grace this year. It was recorded at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles over the course of two nights in 1972. Obviously Aretha Franklin is an incredible singer, but these recordings take her to a whole different level. She puts so much soul into these songs. Put behind it Rev. James Cleveland, the Southern California Community choir and her Atlantic studio musicians, and you have one of the most amazing collections of gospel music. - Stereo Subversion

"Interview - An Interview with Zachary Melton of Rodeo Ruby Love"

Alicia: For the record, please introduce yourself and the part you play in Rodeo Ruby Love.

Zachary: My name is Zachary Melton and I sing and play guitar in Rodeo Ruby Love.

Alicia: You are currently on tour with Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto. How has this tour been going?

Zachary: So far so good. I mean, we’ve only played 3 shows and then had a Thanksgiving break. We find the northeast to be our worst area in the country as far as reception. So far it’s been really good, so it’s a good sign.

Alicia: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard of you guys before?

Zachary: We always kind of go with the ‘catchy sing-along’. It’s loud and it’s fun and we kind of say it's in the vein of a Weezer sound but just real good hooks, real nice melodies and fun to sing along and clap along to.

Alicia: Where did you guys come up with the name Rodeo Ruby Love?

Zachary: My grandmother, before she got married, was Ruby Love, now it’s Ruby Melton. I just always thought that that was a really pretty name and Rodeo is my second favorite Garth Brooks song. I like alliteration and it fit well.

Alicia: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Zachary: As a group or me individually?

Alicia: You individually.

Zachary: Individually, probably my greatest influence as far as songwriting, Ben Folds Five was huge for me when I was younger and a lot of people that I grew up with. I didn’t really know how to write music until I was in college or play anything really. So the people that helped me along the way, there was a band from Indiana called In The Face of War, a hardcore band that really influenced a lot of the guys in this band. Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids are also an influence on what we do, Piebald as well. A lot of those types of bands.

Alicia: As a music industry major I always like to see what artists have to say about the state of the industry. What do you think about the where it’s going right now and the issue within it?

Zachary: There’s really no solution at this point because of the Internet. I was just talking to Matt from Reel Big Fish and he has Spotify premium on his phone, which is $10 a month and you can download any album from Spotify. I was just asking him what he thought about that and he kind of stopped and was like ‘well I don’t really know because our stuff is up there but I don’t really know how that gets to us’. I think Spotify is a strange thing and it’s in that weird area with Napster and all those types of things where like I’ll download something illegally and if I really like it then I’m going to go out to a show and buy a record but if I don’t really like it, I’m not going to do that and I’m not going to listen to it anymore. A good example is, there’s a band called Little Wings and they put out an album earlier this year and I was super psyched and got the MP3s early and there was like one good song on there and so I was not going to buy that. A band on Temporary Residence, which is an awesome label, called The Drift put out an album and I hadn’t even heard anything about it and I immediately went out and bought the album and it’s amazing. I think the vinyl and download codes are where it’s going towards right now. CDs are dead; you just have to figure out how to survive through the Internet.

Alicia: If you could put together your ideal tour who would be on it?

Zachary: I would say Rocket From the Crypt would be on there and At The Drive In, I think that would be a really nice tour. It would be really amazing to see Queen with Freddy Mercury. It would be kind of a weird show, but I would lose my head.

Alicia: If you had to describe the band as a whole in three words, what words would you use?

Zachary: Catchy fun time.

Alicia: What does the future have in store for Rodeo Ruby Love?
Zachary: We’re hoping to keep doing some tours and hopefully get into the studio in the spring or the summer and work on - Audio Arsenal Magazine

"Rodeo Ruby Love: Indiana's indie/pop love child"

The tour gods have clearly given Rodeo Ruby Love, the Indiana native indie/pop/rock band, their blessings.

Currently on an East-coast tour with seasoned veterans Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto, RRL has had to adjust to life on the road.

"It's been a lot different from our last tours. It's definitely a lot more work and responsibility," said Zachary Melton, one of the band's members.

The band began as a side project with Melton and Kyle Kammeyer, who were playing in a "heavier" band at the time, after Melton returned from a lackluster trip to China.

"When I got back, I decided to try my hand at this music thing. I realized that RRL was more user friendly, more fun and had lyrics that everyone could sing along to. I thought 'Maybe we have something here,' but it wasn't until 2006 that we realized that we really wanted to do this," he said.

The band, which "fluctuates between five and 13 members with a part-time horn section," has toured before, but not with as much success as they have had this time around.

"We've played Chicago countless times, but we made more fans in one night at the House of Blues than we had in three or four years of playing there," Melton said.

Their favorite part of touring happens to be the actual performance.

"The best part is getting to play in front of a ton of people. It doesn't get much better than that. Those 30 minutes [on stage] is what it's all about," Melton said.

With influences from bands like Jimmy Eat World and late '60s soulful R&B performers such as Sam Cook and Otis Redding, the band's stage presence is unusual.

"We've always been the type of band to present what we're doing. It's not orchestrated or scripted, and what happens, happens. We improvise up there, we dance around and make fools of ourselves," Melton said.

His parting words for fans attending their shows? "You don't have to be a certain way or listen to a certain music. It's about having a good time."

Songs to check out: Black Sunday (Melton's favorite), Secrets -

"Album Review - This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things"

I’ll admit it. By now, I get a little giddy every time a new album from XRA shows up in my mail. For the past few years, they’ve been putting out nothing but some of my favorite new music, from Alexander the Great to Metavari, Husband&Wife to Frank Schweikhardt. The people at this small, Indiana-based label know how to pick honest, authentic, thoughtful, and talented artists. This trend continues with their latest release from Rodeo Ruby Love.

I downloaded This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things, hit play, and within thirty seconds I was writing an email back to the label offering my hand in marriage. The opening acoustic track, “Elizabeth,” instantly draws the listener into a story of question and emotion, told with a heart-breaking light-heartedness. It’s so good that I was scared to keep going, for fear of being let down by the rest of the record.

The next song, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” takes an expectedly sharp turn towards high-energy alt-rock reminiscent of good 90’s pop-punk. The two best things about this song, along with others like “Kind to Me,” is the strong vocal harmonies and the reggae/ska flair thrown in during bridges and other parts of songs. We’re talking horns, up-strums, the whole thing. Without losing the emotional depth of the past decade, Rodeo Ruby Love brings back the fun of the decade before that. The intrinsic paradox is the genius of this record, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is where music is going for the next ten years. For better or worse, emo left a permanent mark on us, and we simply can’t go back to singing goofy songs about ice cream or poop. Yet all this introspection and social criticism is exhausting, and we need to get moving and have fun again. The resulting music is something like what Rodeo Ruby Love does here, and I expect to see much more of it in the near future.

Things slow down for the first half of “The Melody,” which begins with a piano and a provocative line about salvation. Energy kicks in with electric guitars and that classic punk bass-line (you know the one), eventually climaxing in a passionate plea of “Lord, I want to be forgiven!” Spiritual themes are present throughout the album like this, mentioned off-handedly or in unexpected ways. The opening lyrics of “No One But Us” come straight out of the Psalms.

Creativity continues turning this way and that, next with “The Coming Up Roses.” The track is mostly instrumental and makes you want to dance like a caveman. Fittingly, a single verse in the middle is sung entirely by gang vocals.

Two background voices show up throughout the record. One is high, giving powerful harmonies to the lead vocal. The other is strong and straightforward like a ska/jam band singer. Combine these with the bouncy drums, meandering bass, layered and chunky guitars, and “extras” like horns and bells, and you’ve got a fun, thoughtful, and all-around brilliant record.

Overall: I have to say it again: this is where I think music is going. This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things is both fun and thoughtful, catchy and emotionally prodding. The energy is perfectly balanced, and the vocal harmonies are really what make the record for me. Plus, who else can get away with using some heavy 90’s punk/ska influence in a way that doesn’t sound dated? - Indie Vision Music

"Album Review - Vs. The Great American Cities"

Different regions of America, whether we admit it or not, tend to produce similar strains of music. For instance: this reviewer grew up on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas, an area of the world known for producing more than a few illustrious musicians in the fields of country, blues, rock, and hip-hop. There’s a certain proletarian sound, a level of working-class grit that comes forth from being raised amidst competing swathes of towering oil derricks and hyper-irrigated rice fields. There are times you can almost smell the sulfur and taste the sweat in the passionate voice of Janis Joplin and the strident-yet-smooth vocals of UGK. One’s environment will always influence one’s music, so you’re probably never going to hear whimsical indie rock emerge from that area of the world – the earth simply doesn’t contain those elements.

But it seems that the wide-ranging and multitudinous cornfields of the Midwest are the breeding ground for more than maize; intelligent, fanciful pop bands aplenty emerge from the soil there, all with an innate knack for writing hooks and lyrics that are insanely catchy and addictive. Rodeo Ruby Love, hailing from Marion, IN, possesses this gift in spades, complete with the ability to win the listener over with their politely restrained (but still infectious) glee. Their most recent effort, Vs. The Great American Cities, serves as an almost-concept album, as track after track chronicles the band’s conflicting emotions over the draw of the big city in contrast to their love for the small towns of their upbringing. Granted, as with a great many contemporary indie albums, an explosion of instrumentation is the norm, from banjos and bells to horns and handclaps, and the group runs the risk of potentially leaving the listener with the surface impression that this shtick has been heard several times before. Yet the band’s mix of insane optimism and idealism with a harsh dose of reality, as best heard on songs like “Quit! (Joel’s In Philadelphia),” “A Small House in the City,” and “Cancer and Loneliness,” make you want to laugh and smile along with the band during the best of times, and then give them a great big hug when their hearts are hurting. Fans of Anathallo and anything touched by Reese Roper (Five Iron Frenzy, etc.) will love what they hear with Rodeo Ruby Love.
- Dryvtyme Online

"Rodeo Ruby Love"

Rodeo Ruby Love is a prolific group from Bloomington, Indiana. Driven by the songwriting ability of guitarist/vocalist Zachary Melton, and complemented by a varying ensemble of musicians that both flesh out the musical arrangements, and bring the ideas to life, this group has put out a trio of discs over the course of late last year and early this year that demonstrates the progress of the musical Midwest. The songs are as endearing as they are catchy, and as honest as they are fun. There is an unmistakable tone of the genuineness in the words on each of the albums, leading to a refreshingly simple listening experience.

Rodeo Ruby Love has a lot of potential going for them, both musically and geographically, with the scene in Bloomington really thriving these days. This group is bound to go as far as they really want. Its really only a matter of time.

Select Discography and quick ratings:
"Your Love Has Made Everything Beautiful" XRA 002 8/10
"What Loneliness can do to You" XRA 007 8.5/10
"Honest to God" XRA 008 8/10
more information and ordering at - Hawaiian Winter

"Album Review - What Loneliness Can Do To You EP"

Rodeo Ruby Love, a side project from Away With Vega’s Zachary Melton, follow up 2006’s Your Love Has Made Everything Beautiful with the release of What Loneliness Can Do To You. For the most part, each track possesses a fun vibe similar to the group’s Small House In The City, but the album isn’t without its somber moments. It seems that even some of the upbeat tracks deal with weighty lyrical themes. As he did with Your Love …, Melton sticks to the acoustic guitar as his main instrument, but incorporates banjos, jaw harp, cello and ukulele as well. Doing so gives the album a more eclectic and mature feel than the previous album. The non-polished production, handled by Husband & Wife’s Mike Adams, is another one of the album’s endearing aspects. Had the record been too pristine, it would have lost some of its appeal. Melton’s clever lyrics, enthusiastic vocals and pop hooks possess a charm many will find irresistible. - Buzzgrinder

"Album Review - This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things"

Indianapolis, Indiana’s Rodeo Ruby Love returns on June 29th with their third album, This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things. What started as a side project has grown into a 7-piece working band, one of the more popular acts in the greater Indianapolis area while touring both coasts and the south.

Rodeo Ruby Love opens with "Elizabeth", a matter of fact assessment of a relationship that collapsed because neither partner tended it properly. It's a diagnostic that's indicative of a larger world view given in a simple folk delivery. "America's Funniest Home Videos" is a great piece of rock n roll songwriting featuring a snappy chorus about coping in a modern world. Great hooks and a deep pop sensibility combine with punk energy to make this song go. "Secrets" takes on the immaturity and needfulness that can drive a relationship over the brink. Rodeo Ruby Love delivers this lesson with a light touch that makes it more entertaining than it might sound in words.

"Black Sunday" is another parable, this one about coming face-to-face with your own imperfections while trying to make a relationship work. It's the most sobering lesson of love, and once again Rodeo Ruby Love makes it entertaining by make the point but not driving it too deep. Unrequited love is the theme of "The Melody", and "The Coming Up Roses" is as upbeat and happy as you might expect. The highlight of the album is "Beast Of Joy", which highlights the joyous highs that can overtake us in love. The arrangement here is classic.

"Rickey Henderson" may be the most obscure baseball reference in a rock song in 2010, and Rodeo Ruby Love jump from irony to depth with "No One But Us", a catchy tune highlighting the old theme that we live together but die alone. "No One But Us" exhorts all who will listen to make the best of the moments they have with the ones they love. "Josephine" finds the comforts of love once more ("beside you I can finally rest") before Rodeo Ruby Love close with "Careful With That Axe". The song is a soundtrack of the band's collective lives to date; a cute closer with a positive outlook that is very entertaining.

Rodeo Ruby Love gets deep without rubbing it in your face on This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things. Serious emotions are studied with a self-deprecating air that is refreshing; a studied attempt to gain better understanding without taking it all too much to heart. Rodeo Ruby Love has a penchant for solid melodies and strong, encompassing arrangements, the sound works well for them. This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things is worth spending some time with.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World

"Album Review - This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things"

With whooshing riffs, jumpy and jangled, and all kinds of honey-dipped harmonies and wavy-freewheeling summer barbecue melodies, this Indianapolis-centered septet has found a nice recipe for pop that comes off as charming and heartfelt. Sure, it's a bit cutesy sometimes — and other times a bit brazen in its rush-up energy and poignant-points, but for the most part it's just fun, unabashed pop, in all its bells, horns, tumbling drums and flaring guitar glory. - Real Detroit Weekly

"Album Review - This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things"

Rodeo Ruby Love has helped me soften my stance on Indiana in the last couple of years. And This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things goes a long way toward erasing cornfields and mid-level Big 10 athletic programs as the primary images in my head associated with Greg Kinnear’s motherland.

This Is Why… finds the road-worn sevensome maturing in a lot of ways — and not the bad kind of mature (read boring). The songwriting has been kicked up a notch, you can feel their personalities oozing through the seams and the energy is palpable in every track. All the zest of their live show — if you’ve seen Rodeo Ruby Love live, you know what I mean — has been distilled down into 12 tracks. A lot of genuinely fun live bands fail miserably when they attempt to capture the spectacle on a record. These guys, however, have got it down.

When I listen to this collection of songs, it makes me feel like having a party in a field with a dozen good friends, grilling hot dogs with a bonfire in the middle of the afternoon. Then laughing at the one dude who tries to climb the hay bails when he falls off and dislocates his shoulder. You know, that old chestnut. - Buzzgrinder

"Daytrotter Session"

Up until this day, this time, there's been nothing to prompt me to consider the marriage and infidelities of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais. The Indiana band Rodeo Ruby Love, and lead singer Zach Melton, have done so, with the song titled "Josephine," a number that enacts a number of lines lifted from the actual love letters sent between the two people in the late 1700s and early 1800s, before boredom and wandering private parts got the better part of their volatile union and they split for good, without any children to show for it. It turns out that Napoleon was quite the esquire, a bard of romance, writing to his lady frequently, emoting and getting down with his innermost feelings as they arose to him on those days. He was over-the-top with his infatuations and yet, could, with the swipe of a quill and ink, make a girl feel as if there was no one else even half as good. He wrote passionate odes that, through the magic of time passage, we see turn the other way, into dark shards of vitriol and sensed betrayal, with the man of power suddenly believing himself - rightfully so - to be a cuckold. His loves turns into detestation and he's off to the races, just as any other people, now or then would feel and behave, like someone who's just been thrown into boiling waters. And yet, even at the end of a piece of correspondence that has been, throughout its entirety, questioning his wife's silence and her faithfulness, he ends it with a truly love-strewn line, "I hope before long to crush you in my arms and cover you with a million kisses as though beneath the equator." He goes full circle and the man's twice as fascinating as he's ever been. Melton is good at this: making pop songs pertain to things other than silly, petty dramas that really only matter to one person, unless they're just so far classic that they become timeless. While still trying on the clothing of Napoleon and Josephine, wearing their many flaws and their burning love - or what used to be recognized as a burning love - Rodeo Ruby Love makes it seem like a situation that should or could be classified as animalistic. (We're assuming that the next words would have been directed at the big, bad man himself, from the mouth or pen of the Lady Josephine, but we can't be sure.) She states, "Please don't shower/I want your stench covering my every inch," and that's about as pornographic as it gets without just spelling it out. And further along in the song, there's a message about being smart and a sense that there's no reason to believe that this relationship is as dumb as it looks, with Melton singing, There's a means for survival that you wrote down in your Bible that says keep your heart out of sight." And at that point, it's a Rodeo Ruby Love pop song, something that they excel at and Melton, in particular, finds ways to squeeze enticing nuggets from things like history lessons, the wedding day of a sister, a throw-away - albeit egotistical comment from former, longtime Oakland Athletic centerfielder Rickey Henderson and a sick need to force a "friend" to become a serial Bob Saget/"America's Funniest Home Videos" watcher. - Sean Moeller

"Single Review - America's Funniest Home Videos"

Finally, the prescient and unheralded precursor to YouTube, America's Funniest Home Videos, gets the recognition it deserves, via this paean of the same name lovingly crafted by Indiana boys Rodeo Ruby Love.

Wait, that's not quite right. In fact, I wish this tune from their upcoming album, This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things, which is premiering today right here on, wasn't titled "America's Funniest Home Videos," because I have to swallow back a little vomit before listening, as it's impossible to even hear the show's name without a hearty wave of nausea.

But the song itself, not nausea-inducing. Pretty good, actually, pleasingly episodic, moving from herky-jerky, emo-inflected power pop to a more laid-back and unexpected horn-driven coda.

When the record arrives June 29 on Crossroads of America Records, it'll be that label's 25th overall release. Incidentally, I'm impressed by the lineup and concept behind Crossroad's Laminar Excursion Monthly, a 3-inch CD subscription service whose run started in January 2010, and features up to 20 minutes of unreleased material per month by artists including Richard Swift, Damien Jurado, Cotton Jones and pretty much everyone on the label itself.

The band is headed for a Daytrotter session in the near future, and will play Muncie April 17 (Village Green Records) and Indianapolis April 22 (Vollrath). Then they'll make another swing through this state in May before heading west on a month-plus tour of the open plains, the West coast and Texas in June and July. -


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members