Dear friends and Kickstarter supporters,
It's the beginning of a new year, and I am ready to leave the last one behind and pick up the ball again and start rolling! I know it's been a little bit of a long time, but I haven't forgotten about you...in fact, quite the contrary. I've been on quite the life changing journey and adventure over the past year. I have really been struggling with how to put it into words, but I very much want to share the story with all of you...so, here it goes!
Last March, after being in L.A. for 7 months helping my father through his battle with cancer, I finally made my way back to Austin to get my musical ball rolling again. Thanks to the generosity of all of you, I was able to spend a good portion of last year in the studio with Kyle Crusham and Adam Mackintosh working on the new album, Voodoo Queen. We wrote, played and recorded a bunch through the months of March, April and May. Soon after Adam and I left Austin to head up to Wisconsin for the Steelbridge Songfest that we are a part of every year, the news came that my grandfather was ill with cancer. I found myself in a very familiar situation, exactly one year after my father’s diagnosis. On July 11th we found out my grandpa was dying, and by August 16th he was gone.
My intention here isn't to seek sympathy, as there were so many blessings and gifts during this time of hard life happenings, but I felt like I needed to share this with all of you as it feels relevant to the Kickstarter project. I started the Kickstarter campaign in the first place as a way to get back on my feet after taking care of my father, and now I'm trying to get back on my feet after dealing with my first big passing, the loss of one of my most favorite people in my life. This project, and you all, have continued to serve a very big purpose in all of this. Without you, the project wouldn’t have been feasible in the first place...and without my commitment to you, I’m pretty sure I would have dropped the ball completely and probably taken at least a year off of music, given the state of my heart after losing my grandpa. But all along, I’ve known this project had to come to completion for you – because of you – and for that I am forever grateful to you all. I know, deep in my being, that no matter how badly I've wanted to run away and leave it all behind, that's not what my purpose on this earth is...and that's not what my grandpa would have wanted for me.
After losing Stanley Otis on August 16th, the same day Elvis died, I wanted to stay out in Joshua Tree for the last few months of 2011 doing some soul searching in the western desert, where gramps was born and used to roam...but life threw me a couple of cool opportunities that felt right, so I took them. I left Cali at the end of October and went on a reality TV show adventure with the crew from The Twisted South Magazine - imagine an indoor trailer park, a red-headed girl in a glass grave, old cajun cabins on the bayou...all things Twisted, all things South! That adventure led me to New Orleans, where a dear friend of mine offered me a job working with her and managing her deli at 801 Royal St., right in the heart of the French Quarter. How could I say no? Sometimes life makes you offers you can’t refuse. So now I’m writing to you from a beautiful balcony in the French Quarter, living out my Ruby Red adventure – I know all of you would expect nothing less!
It's a new year now, and I'm ready for the next chapter...it's time to move on and move up! I just played my first show in New Orleans at the Chickie Wah Wah...it was amazing playing the Voodoo Queen songs in the voodoo capital of the United States! Work continues on the album. I'm currently waiting for Kyle to finish the mixes...they are getting very close, and sounding incredible! I am so excited for this all to be done and to get it to you! This project has always remained the light in the hours of darkness for me and what has kept me moving forward with hope during the last 6 months.
I'm including a mix for you guys to hear of Black Licorice.. http://rubyjames.com/blackLDL I know that it is long overdue, but I hope you will love it as much as we do. I expect to get this project to you all between Valentine’s Day and my birthday, February 25th, at least up on-line on a secret link where you can all be the first to download the album! February's always been my favorite month, and so it seems a fitting time to send it along with love from me to you! Thank you all so much again for your love and continued support!