By C.B. Radio
If you think Joplin has a fledgling music scene, perhaps you just don’t know where to look.
Look no further than Ruby Wrath and the Rebel Hearts, featuring Heather Elsten (aka Ruby Wrath) as the rollicking frontwoman for this fast-paced rockabilly band, which released their debut EP on Saturday at the Redings Mill Inn, 102 Broadlawn Blvd, here in Joplin. With the new release, the band has injected a dose of adrenaline into the local music scene.
The group has nowhere to go but up, and the talented performers have amassed plenty of catchy and bombastic original songs to back up their spirited live performance.
And they really are natural performers. Heather puts all her energy into singing and sometimes screaming her combative lyrics into being. She’s supported by husband Justin on the stand-up bass, stellar guitarist Tim Anderson, and drummer Colt Scott.
It’s obvious they’ve channeled countless hours into their live performance, as Justin flawlessly plays bass while wandering the crowd and pumping up concertgoers. Heather enthusiastically tells off-kilter jokes between songs (which elicit both laughs and sighs), while Tim Anderson coolly and flawlessly scales solos up and down the neck of his electric guitar. The band just feels at home on stage.
Of course, the music itself is the main draw. Save for a raucous cover (“Rebel Yell”), the Hearts sampled songs from their new EP. A notable standout is “Stitched Up Heart,” a cryptic, twisted track featuring a tempo that fluctuates between mid-tempo stomp and roaring punk energy. (Another standout: the hilariously named “Flask That Didn’t Make It Through the Night.”)
Each song on the record is impressive, and the disk captures the raw energy of their live show. You can purchase it on their Bandcamp page – but don’t skip out on their live show the next time they play in your area. You won’t want to miss it.