Check out Ruby's NEW CD! -
"Ruby's Blues"

Ruby Hayes

(NEW) Review by Jim Primrock, Colorado Blues Society

Displaying similar depth from the lady's point of views is JusVon's labelmate Ruby Hayes, who turns in an absolutely smoldering performance on "Ruby's Blues." Ironically, Hayes also came to notice at age 14 when she was selected as the lead singer of Shady Grove Baptist Church in her hometown of Plumerville, Ark. In addition to her early church upbringing, her parents exposed her to a wide variety of music including gospel, blues and R&B. That fed her interests in the music business and eventually to the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., where she made her professional debut as part of the Al Martinez jazz combo. After forming her own group, Hayes eventually met the woman who would prove to be an invaluable mentor, Linda Hopkins, who was performing in a show called "Me and Bessie." From Hopkins, Hayes developed an even deeper understanding of the roots of blues and performers like the great Bessie Smith. Hayes puts all that to good use on "Ruby's Blues." As the liner notes indicate, Hayes "uncompromisingly and unapologetically sings the blues." Don't look for any watered down pop tunes or excuses to play flashing hard rock guitar disguised as blues, as "Ruby's Blues" is filled with nothing but classic tunes delivered in classy style. That's not to say there's a lack of diversity here. Nor is that to say she's forgot her early jazz experience. Haye's covers a wide variety of blues styles, opening with a more recent Denise LaSalle tune-"Someone Else Is Stepping In"-and moving right to an old Willie Dixon classic, "Little Red Rooster." She goes even further back into time picking up Big "Bill" Broonzy's "Trouble in Mind" and W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." Pay special attention to her approach to the Handy classic-Hayes nails this one, striking just the right balance between modern sound and time-honored style. She's equally in the period in the vaudeville-inflected, ribald "Do Your Duty." That one's a real treat. Along the way, she hits some classic tunes including "Stormy Monday," "Everyday I Have the Blues," "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" and "I Got My Mojo Working." Hayes also takes a turn on the beautiful "At Last," which forever was immortalized on wax by Etta James. Hayes turns in a stellar performance of her own, backed by her jazzy combo that includes Eric Byrd on piano, Joshua Bayer on electric and acoustic bass, Greg Holloway on drums, David Coles on guitar and Ron Hearns on saxophone. "Ruby's Blues" by Ruby Hayes is a real treat for those who are uncompromising and unapologetic about their love for good old roots music.
---Michael Patterson

Ruby Hayes - Ruby's Blues
2004 Princess House Records subsidiary of Parliament Records

This woman has a smooth clear voice and sounds as if she is very comfortable with her singing and enjoys what she does. Listening to this CD is a treat and her gospel beginnings and jazz influences show through. All songs are cover tunes dating back as far as the 20's with "Do Your Duty" and "You've Been a Good Old Wagon". Several tunes are jazzed up by the styles of the marvelous sax player Ron Kearns and percussion styling of Greg Holloway. The first song you'll notice this on is "One Scotch, One Bourbon and One Beer". What a great rendition of this song. Eric Byrd on piano has a fun blend of blues, jazz and ragtime type style that comes through on varies songs. He sure knows how to tickle the ivories. "At Last" is done in such an absorbing way you just melt into the song; Ruby then adds a less traditional ending. Two of my favorites were her versions of "Someone Else is Stepping In" and "I've Got My Mojo Working". David Coles is the guitar player and it sounds as if he has no trouble going between blues and jazz variations. On electric and acoustic bass is solid player Joshua Bayer. The band mixes up a nice variety of slow songs, moderate tempos and the two faster songs "Every Day I Have the Blues" and "Mojo". While there is certainly a jazzy feel on most songs, Ruby's voice has a more blues feel. There is a nice mix of songs and all are done very well.
--- Marla Fitzsimmons, Walla Walla Blues Society, Washington


You know how every so often a new artist comes along and shakes up the whole apple cart with the way they do some of the old standards? Well, that's exactly what Ruby Hayes has done and it doesn't sound bad. Actually it sounds pretty good. It took me a couple of songs to get used to it but I like it. She has taken the songs on this CD like "Little Red Rooster" and "I Got my Mojo Working" and sung them her way. She has made them her own and she does it with a voice of a true blues singer. The reason I say "true" is because she has had the honor of playing Bessie in a musical retrospective about the lives of Sarah Vaughn and Bessie Smith. Her voice is cool, calm and reserved in a jazz way that pleases the listener. Her CDs's can be bought on the internet from and This CD is worth the purchase.
---Deb Danuski