Kim Ruehl
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  • Asheville, NC
  • United States
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Kim Ruehl commented on No Depression's blog post 'No Depression Is Getting a Facelift: A Note About What's Around the Bend'
"WEB - All posts are getting migrated from here to there as we speak, and automatically categorized. (Album reviews you've read here will show up in the appropriate section there, for example.)  The specific launch date shall remain a…"
Kim Ruehl commented on Dale Henry Geist's blog post 'Learning Songwriting at the Feet of Steve Earle'
"I loved this and am glad you posted it, Dale. I was jealous all week, curious how your time was going, so this was an awesome review. That said, I think I need to go to that Mary Gauthier/Costa Rica/yoga retreat songwriting camp thing. Sounds…"
Kim Ruehl commented on Gillian Turnbull's blog post 'New Country is Boring Me'
"Using theory to discuss music!? Seriously, though, the horror is that someone wrote a song called "Beat of the Music" and someone else wrote a song called "Get Me Some of That" and I can't even finish this sentence. I'm…"
Vic Flessas commented on Kim Ruehl's blog post 'Getting the Adrenaline Flowing: An Interview with Jonah Tolchin'
"On another note, Kim.  I loved the intro to this piece, and would love an essay some time on what is this emerging and coherent 'American folk music!'"

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Kim Ruehl's Discussions

SXSW 2011
21 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dave Bevenger Apr 1, 2011.

Who do you want to see play at an ND Festival?
79 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Steven McGann Apr 23, 2011.

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Kim Ruehl's Page

Kim Ruehl's Blog

On Race and Folk Music: Classic African-American Songsters and Keb' Mo'

I've been listening to a little bit of Keb' Mo' recently and a whole lot of the Smithsonian Folkways Classic African-American Songsters collection, thinking about the strange connection I have to African-American storytelling traditions. Strange because I'm a white lady who grew up in a small self-segregated Southern town. 

As a student of literature, I gravitated toward African-American stories.…


Posted on July 11, 2014 at 7:00am — 10 Comments

Getting the Adrenaline Flowing: An Interview with Jonah Tolchin

The butt-shaking harmonica solo and kick drum that give way to an almost Cajun fiddle at the onset of Jonah Tolchin’s new album Clover Lane make perhaps the disc’s most brazen statement: this kid knows his shit. By the time the song hits two and a half minutes, the fiddle arches into Celtic folk territory, before passing the melodic baton to a distorted bass solo. All the while, Tolchin’s raspy vocals romp and drag along like the bluesmen of whom he became enamored as a…


Posted on June 24, 2014 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Dance to the Music: A Personal History

"Everything you need is in your bones." - Mama Nayo

That quote, scrawled on a large sheet of paper, hung from the ceiling in the workshop center at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tenn., two years ago, when I attended a week-long cultural organizing workshop named for Zilphia Horton. I had, two years prior, moved to North Carolina from Washington State to commence researching Horton's life and work for a book I will eventually finish writing.…


Posted on June 6, 2014 at 6:05am — 2 Comments

All about me

I'm the Editor of No Depression. My work has also appeared in Billboard, CityArts, Yes, and Shuffle magazines, online at Folk Alley, NPR, the Bluegrass Situation, and elsewhere.

After studying classical music my whole life, I spent eight or nine years moving around the country, hopping from music scene to music scene, touring, and trying to make a living as a singer-songwriter. I moved to Seattle in 2003 and somehow wound up writing about music for a living. I found my way to No Depression when I was tasked with writing a story for a Seattle magazine about ND going out of print. Kyla brought me on board as News Editor for the old editorial site in late 2008 and then I became Community Manager when we launched the ND Community the following Feb (a job now ably held down by Shelley Champine). 

In 2010, I moved to Asheville, NC, to start working on a book about Zilphia Horton - the small-town Tennessee music teacher from the 1930s-'50s who influenced Pete Seeger and Rosa Parks, fueled the labor and civil rights movements with music, and gave us universal anthems of empowerment like "This Little Light of Mine" and "We Shall Overcome."  Learn more.

Comment Wall (50 comments)

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At 7:13pm on January 28, 2014, weirsh said…

Excited to see Isbell next week in Milwaukee at the Pabst Theater, a beautifully restored old venue. Saw Son Volt there a couple years back. Ice cold PBR tall boys and great music, life is good.

At 6:58pm on January 28, 2014, weirsh said…

Thanks for honoring Pete Seeger, I had the pleasure of seeing him and Arlo Guthrie back in the early 80s a couple of times when they toured together. I just watched a film about Pete on Saturday that I had recorded last year but just decided to view. Imagine my surprise when I heard the news of his passing this morning. A true patriot and great American, was Pete...Sailing down my golden river, sun and water all my own, yet I was never alone.

At 10:24am on January 14, 2013, olds sleeper said…

you may find me to actually be a gentleman at heart.

At 4:50pm on April 19, 2012, Kurt Mahoney said…

Hey Kim,

Watched the video-got me cryin' in the damn library....

It's really a sad day. So many passings...every week it seems. This one hurts.

I saw Levon with the (post-Robbie) Band two or three times...also saw him with some version of the RCO All-Stars in the 70's.

The last time I saw him was with the little blues band he had before he was singing again-rockin' blues band! They came out here to the West Coast, and I also got to meet him that night. So many times you meet your 'heroes' and you wish you hadn't. Not so with Levon.

He was the sweetest, kindest, most gentle and authentic soul. I had my picture taken with him that night and hoped one day to have it autographed. So much for that.

I so badly wish I could've seen one of the Barn Dances, but wrong coast, wrong time...

He's gone from us too soon, and the universe is mourning.


Kurt Mahoney

At 9:54am on November 21, 2011, ron sutton said…

Awesome page Kim, very informative, great job! 

At 5:51am on October 18, 2011, Steven McGann said…



Thanks for the video of Tim Easton.  I manage him as well as Lydia Loveless and some others.  Hope we can stay in touch about more events in the future.




Steve McGann

At 11:18pm on July 8, 2011, JoeRay Skrha said…

Dear Kim,

     Thankyou for your assistance.  Sincerely,  Joe Ray 

At 4:24am on April 27, 2011, Steve Hatch said…


Hi Kim


      As a featured contributor to No Depression, I’m particularly keen on getting your feedback for the following – Please forgive the intrusion if you don’t have the time or inclination to reply.


      I’ve posted the following to the No Depression discussion board – you can either respond there or alternatively drop me a line at


Thanks very much for your time

Kind regards,





My name is Steve Hatch and I’m currently conducting research for my Master’s in Songwriting at Bath Spa University in Bath, England (though I happen to be an ex-pat Georgia boy).  I would be extremely grateful if you could find the time to listen to the track (link below) and answer the 2 accompanying questions.  The more detail, the better of course (more to say in my final analysis) – but all feedback will be useful and very much appreciated.


Sadly, as this is an academic pursuit, there is a deadline.  Please reply by May 20th if at all possible so that I can have time to chew over your response and include it in my final write-up.


            The track:


1)     Which artist/band(s) would you say the track is most similar to and why?


2)     Which genre(s) would you say the track belongs to and why?

At 9:35pm on February 24, 2011, raina rose said…

Hi Kim!
I *just* saw your post from 2009 about a live artist chat! I'm definitely interested if you still are.

hope you are super well



At 6:43pm on January 16, 2011, Peewee Moore said…

Hey Kim thanks for being a friend. I'm a Touring Independent Austin Texas Outlaw Honkytonker that needs your support! I'm always looking for new places to play so please let me know if you know of any. I have a Critically Acclaimed CD "The Leaving Side Of Gone" available at and my next tour kicks off February 2nd and hits locations in TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV. Be sure to spread the word if you know anybody in those states. My official website is I hope to see you around!

-Peewee Moore

 Sole Honorable Mention Best Album Of The Year 2009 -Chattanooga Times Free Press Essential Albums of 2010 List


"If I were to trace the genealogy of the country music Outlaw, it would start with Bobby Bare, roll through Willie & Waylon and that whole gang, follow Cash through the late 90′s, and end up in the country music underground with people like Peewee Moore as possibly the perfect example of the Outlaw lineage in the present day"
-Kyle Coroneos,

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.