Busted Flat Records launches Duane Rutter’s long-awaited debut album, Waiting Room Duane Rutter’s debut album, Waiting Room, is more than 25 years in the making. The singer-songwriter has been at it since he first picked up a guitar at the age of 14 in Walsingham, Ontario, his hometown, and later, Port Rowan, Ontario, where he now calls home. He formed bands in high school and played his first solo gigs before he was 20, playing in lineups with music legends like Linda Lee and Ronnie Hawkins band members, Terry Danko and James Atkinson.
Overhear.com calls Rutter’s music “a combination of elements of everything from blues, folk, country, bluegrass and even a little psychedelia to form a riveting stew of emotional sustenance.”
Rutter’s soft voice and smooth melodies feel like he could be playing in your living room. If you close your eyes and let everything but the music fall away, you’d swear he was. Mandolin, upright bass and piano complement the baritone, parlour and bass guitar sounds, making for a relaxed, rich sound.
“Rachel Sings,” one of Rutter’s personal favourites from the album, showcases his talent for combining poetic lyrics with beautiful melodies that seem almost hopeful in both their tone and introspection. Together they explore the experiences of a man coming to terms with love, loss and change.
Rutter calls his style “North American Bluegrass with a heavy spiritual vibe.” Don’t be misled though – Rutter’s not preaching religion. He explains that his brand of spirituality stems from a desire to “spread the spirit of kindness and good will to as many people as possible while my body walks the earth.”
Rutter’s musical influences include Guy Clark, The Carter Family, Fred Eaglesmith, The Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Waylon Jennings and Lightinin’ Hopkins. It doesn’t take long to find these influences in his work, but Rutter definitely has a style and sound of his own.
Rutter spent 10 years away from the stage, which led to what he calls “a spiritual awakening that culminated in a return to performing in 2005.” Last year he signed with Mark Logan of Busted Flat Records and began working on tracks for Waiting Room. It was worth the wait.
“I took 10 years off from live performance in order to pull myself together and try and figure out what I really expected of myself as an artist,” says Rutter, “then word got out that I was hanging around a little studio close by, and a few gigs started trickling in, next thing I knew I was back in the game full time and ready to roll.”
Waiting Room features multi-talented producer/performer Dan Walsh (formerly of Fred Eaglesmith Band, currently with Romi Mayes), The Blue Rubies and Lee Anne Wesseling, who provides beautiful backup vocals. The album was recorded in what’s come to be known as Dan Walsh’s “Cozy Little Shack on Lake Erie.”
Duane Rutter’s musical journey has taken him to bars and stages all over Ontario and beyond, but with the release of Waiting Room, he’ll be touring extensively and playing big city venues, with stops in Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.
The humility that resonates in his musical style and on his blog on MySpace suggests that this man who’s simply been doing what he loves for most of his life has no idea that he is on the cusp of being discovered by legions of adoring fans across the country.
Indie Digest’s Deward Weese predicts, “Waiting Room may very well turn out to be one of 2007's most intriguing releases. Catch one of Rutter’s captivatingly intimate performances and get an autographed copy. You won't be sorry.”