PLAYLIST PICKS: Christina Rubino
Truth is one of the grounding forces in any sort of artistic endeavor, even though it isn’t always the easiest part. Acoustic Americana artist Christina Rubino made the choice to go there with a new album release that is weighty with personal experience and a portrait of a unique voice. The album Alive From the Scrapheap was partially written years ago when Rubino was living a different (darker) life, and the choice to bring it to the light now seems to be a crucial stepping-stone in her artistic development.
The themes in the album all have to do with Rubino’s experience of finding herself again after hardship, be it recovering from drug addiction or losing her parents. Since she was the sole writer on the album, the personal nature of the songs rings true and honest.
Rubino’s start in music was a wake-up call of sorts, while she was laying on the couch as a teenager in Brooklyn. She heard a snippet of Janis Joplin singing on a Time-Life commercial and had an awakening that music was what she wanted to do. She got herself an acoustic guitar and didn’t look back, playing in groups by the age of 18 as both a guitarist and a vocalist, and released an EP in 2009. But shortly there after, she took a break from the business to get clean from alcohol.
When she came back to music, she started working with a friend and created the folk duo Ruby and White, where she felt like it was the right time to record some of the music that she had written during more turbulent times of the past. Some of that music is what is on her most recent album release today, so her ex-duo partner Francine Bianco appears as a backup vocalist on the album.
On the songs, Rubino said: "I swore most of these songs would never see the light of day. They were too personal, too embarrassing. It was difficult to even play them in front of my producer. It was only the constant nagging from my conscience and the unrelenting feeling that I must do this which led me to the decision to continue recording after Francine left. She was very pivotal to my journey with this album -- had she not pushed me to start playing again and begged me to track some of those songs, they undoubtedly would still be in a drawer somewhere hidden."
The song “Tidal” deals with losing control, while “Nothing to Gain” showcases her extremely raw vocals against an acoustic backdrop. This is folk for thinking. While the emotional content of the album runs high and takes a long look at losing out, it comes full circle in that Rubino has created something whole.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog genres. Look for article links (and the occasional joke) on her Twitter @KateFerg or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com