Ray Woodruff Music
Ray Woodruff is an eclectic acoustic folk musician who likes to steal the shiny bits from various musical styles and use them to build on a foundation of country blues and the traditional music of the British Isles. Combining unique, lyrical and improvisational guitar work with a literate blend of historical and contemporary lyrics, he creates rambling, striving, searching stories that focus on sudden moments and single lives. Many of the characters in those stories are contemporary, working within the normal folk music frame of love, lost love and politics. But Ray’s strong belief in history informing the present tends to enter into a number of his stories as well. A 14th century Italian artist can represent a modern artist’s search for relevance. A travelling dancer during the great depression can voice the current struggles to get by. A worker pounding spikes on the Transcontinental Rail road can comment on the scams, swindles and fortunes of our era. His strong belief in improvisation means that no two performances come out quite the same – the intensity, the delivery and the guitar work shifting to adapt to the moment.
Big in heart if not in acreage, The Croft is just under two acres on a hill surrounded by forest. Located in a rural area that is quickly turning to suburb and subdivision, the land is shared with two dozen chickens (give or take a few), four cats, a bunny, dozens of grape vines, various berry bushes and fruit trees, a vegetable garden, an herb garden and 5 humans and still provides enough room for a small soccer pitch. The soil is clay and rock, this hill has been stripped clear for decades and the forest has to be pushed back and replanted with fruits and useful plants. These small acres and the experiences working with them have inspired both songs and the monthly column “Urban Smallholding” in Fredericksburg’s Front Porch Magazine and continue to inspire and demand in turn.