Nashville-based duo Sam & Ruby gently blend R&B, folk and pop into a sound so immediately warm and welcoming that falling in love with their debut Rykodisc album, The Here And The Now, is a foregone conclusion.
Ruby Amanfu, born in Ghana, but raised in Nashville, boasts a sophisticated, soulful voice with gospel-like conviction. It beautifully complements Wisconsin-raised Sam Brooker’s relaxed, confident approach, his voice balanced somewhere between the bar room and the back porch.
That Sam & Ruby have succeeded so brilliantly, and so seemingly effortlessly, is a tribute to their talent and chemistry – and to the sometimes felicitous role fate plays in music and in life. Recalling that moment, almost a decade ago, when she first heard Sam perform, Ruby says, “I saw Sam before Sam saw me. I walked into this club and Sam was playing.’”
“That was the beginning,” says Sam. “We became friends. In Nashville it’s so normal that everyone plays music, so that was always part of the deal. Then I got to see Ruby do a show and she just blew me away. We would go to each other’s shows and cheer each other on. We were fans of one another’s music.”
Aside from their duo activities, Ruby co-wrote Heaven’s My Home, a tune with an inspirational twist that has taken on an extraordinary life of its own. First, Canadian country-folk band the Duhks garnered a Grammy nomination for their rendition of it.
More recently an early version by Sam & Ruby was featured in the Queen Latifah film, The Secret Life Of Bees. Now Sam & Ruby have reclaimed this deeply stirring tune – which features a soaring, sing-along choir -- for their debut album
Finding each other by happenstance, Sam & Ruby sound like they were always meant to sing together – and we’re lucky enough to be around to hear.