By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on February 13, 2023
Musician and guitarist Ruth Wyand is so much a part of the Outer Banks music scene that it’s hard to picture her as a touring musician. But she just spent most of January in Florida and she’s getting ready to head back to New Zealand in March.
“I haven’t been there for three years,” she said. “I’m looking forward to going back. I’ve made some good friends and fans there.”
She still plays at various places around the Outer Banks and she enjoys it, although when pressed, she admits she likes playing venues that are set up for just the performer and audience. Like the places she played in Florida or will be performing in New Zealand. There’s nothing quite like that on the Outer Banks. A number of places have set up stages and improved what they’re doing, but it’s still centered on food and drink.
Wyand is also the Music Director for the Mustang Outreach Program, the nonprofit that works with young musicians to hone their skills. She also gives private lessons. And somehow, amid all that, Wyand and her husband Chris Creighton managed to produce a new album in her home studio that was released this year.
Guitar Routes features a guitar virtuoso at the top of her game. Listen to the tracks on Spotify or buy the album and keep in mind that everything was done in one take. There is no overdubbing, no backing track—just one woman and one guitar.
There are nine songs on Guitar Routes. Some are very recognizable; she does a great cover of Duane Allman’s Little Martha as an example. A number of the songs are her own compositions. Sea to Sky pays tribute to the beauty of the Outer Banks. The song came from a songwriter’s retreat in the mountains of Virginia that coincided with the beginning of COVID restrictions.
Two years ago, Wyand released a YouTube video of her performance of Duke Ellington’s Caravan. The recording highlights so much of what Wyand does in performance. The beat is driven with a pulsating rhythm; each note of the chords and melody are precise and clear with their own flavor.
How she came to record Caravan says a lot about Wyand as a musician.
“A couple of years ago Joe Mapp [on guitar], Leslie Erikson [on violin] and I would play Caravan sometimes. I was doing rhythm,” she said. “I started thinking about how I could play it on full guitar arrangement.”
What followed was a journey experimenting with different tunings of her guitar, different arrangements and a lot of practice before she was ready to perform the song in public.
Much the same process went into recreating Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, a song that Wyand says is one of her favorites on the album.
That “was the most difficult song for me to record because of all the movements were technically challenging to play live in the studio, with no over dubs or effects,” she said. The melody shines through and Wyand is able to capture so much of the genius of Joplin, the intricate patterns that support the melody.
There is another favorite of hers on the album—Train to Kenitra.
Kenitra is a port city in Morocco, and it is where Chris was born when his parents were in the military. Composed by Wyand, the song is in a minor key suggesting the music of the Near East.
Train to Kenitra is not the only original composition on the album.
The single she has released, Blind Willie, is also hers and it has a distinctly bluesy-ragtime feel. Upbeat and happy, it’s a song that gets feet moving and is just about guaranteed to make the listener smile.
Each song on the album stands alone as a compelling piece of music. Taken as a whole, Guitar Routes is testimony to a remarkably talented musician and guitarist.
Notice of Public Auction
The public will take notice that the Dare County Tourism Board, at its meeting of October 20, 2022, adopted Resolution 2022-5 authorizing the sale of surplus personal property by public auction.
Saturday, April 1, 2023.
6708 S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959
10am: Back of the House Auction – Complete Commercial Kitchen
Partial List: True refrigerators and coolers, Hatco drawer warmers, Hobart mixer, Vulcan, 6 & 10 burner gas ovens/stoves, Vulcan 2 basket gas fryer, Vulcan 2-door oven, stainless prep tables, DCS 6 burner LPAS range & oven, Hobart dishwasher, pots & pans & more.
2pm: Front of the House Auction – Selling Everything in the Building + Architectural Salvage by room
Partial List: Antique ships wheel chandelier, Nautical & pirate decor, sword & pistol displays, polyword tables & chairs, ship models, nautical lanterns, art, commercial bar equipment, tables and chairs, NC decoys, fish mounts, signal cannon, architectural salvage, Several bars, pirate bar & more.
Preview 3/31: 11 AM – 5 PM & Auction Day starting @ 9am
Online Absentee Bidding Catalog Closes: 3/31 @ 8pm
Catalog + Thousands of photos @ SSAOBX.HIBID.COM
Island Auction Co. (252)489-5513 – Jason P. Humphries, Auctioneer NCAL #8423
Visa / MC / Cash / Good Check – NC Sales Tax, 15% Buyers Premium
Congratulations on a successful tour and the new album. I’m a fan!
Bravo, Ruth! Love your music and all the heart you bring to the OBX community and beyond!
Are you playing anywhere before leaving on your trip?