Explore LIverpool Music Writer Matt Jacobson interviews singer songwriter, Cal Ruddy.
“I am really proud of my live performances and I throw every ounce of passion into creating an experience the audience won’t forget”
Throughout 2021, a number of local artistes came together to record five tracks live in 3rd Planet Recording Studios, Liverpool, under the watchful eye of Liverpool Music producer Jose Ibanez. January 2022 saw the first of these sessions tol be released.
Cal Ruddy is an etabished artist but continues to push himself at every moment. He continues to shine and is continued to be cherished. Cal’s Ep is “catchy, soft but dangerously good“. Cal’s emotional journey is the core of his work. Cal presents life through songs full of love, loss, good times and bad times. For me , this Ep is one of the good times! and one for you, me and all. I recently interviewed Cal about inspiration, lockdown and playing live…
The early years, was the family home a musical home?
I was really lucky to grow up around great Music. From an early age I was exposed to lots of different artists and genres and this definitely had a big impact on me. My parents introduced me to people like Marc Bolan and T-Rex, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Ian Dury and The Clash. My Grandparents always played classic country records and 50’s and 60’s Rock N’Roll so through them I discovered the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers and Jim Reeves. My Nan and Grandad were both Irish so I also got a decent education in traditional Irish Music. I’m very proud of my Irish heritage.
Of course, growing up on Merseyside you can’t escape the influence of The Beatles and they are still one of my favourite bands to listen to. All of these different artists have had a considerable influence on the artist I am today.
When did you first begin playing?
I started teaching myself Bass Guitar when I was 14 and a few months later I discovered I could sing so I soon started learning how to play Guitar as well. I started writing my first songs when I was 15 and I made my live debut at Vanilla, a little bar in Hoylake on The Wirral. Feels like a lifetime ago.
Did you attend concerts and do you recall any stand out gigs?
If I’m not playing at a show myself I’m generally out and about watching gigs whenever I can. I’m a big fan of going to local shows and supporting the local scene. In terms of bigger acts, I’ve seen a real mixed bag of artists live over the years. Black Sabbath, Richard Ashcroft, The Coral, Ocean Colour Scene, Belle and Sebastian, The Stranglers, Miles Kane, Donovan, Elvis Costello, Green Day, The Stranglers and Billy Ocean to name a few. I even saw Ringo Starr in Liverpool in 2008. I went to see Nick Cave at the Philharmonic in Liverpool and that was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever attended. It was magic. I’m a bi fan of Nick’s music. His lyrics are just something else.
Your album, Elliston Place was well received , what were the main influences for the album?
I wrote the songs that became my debut album : Elliston Place during a songwriting trip to Nashville, USA in September 2017. During my time in Nashville I worked in studios with songwriters and producers from Palmer Global Ink. Allen McKendree Palmer the CEO of PGI became my mentor and it was a pleasure to write in one on one sessions with him, Corey Lee Barker, Blake Densmore and Charles ‘Pevy’ Pevahouse.
‘Been Here Before‘, which featured originally on Elliston Place (and is now also on my new EP in acoustic arrangement) was co-written with the late, great Blue Miller a legendary Nashville songwriter, producer and musician. He worked with so many legendary artists including Bob Seger, David Ruffin, Isaac Hayes, Gladys Knight and so many other artists. The time I spent with him was amazing and a true honour I will never forget. He is very sadly missed.
Did lockdown, prevent creativity or provide time to be creative?
Lockdown was a really hard time for everyone and it had a very negative impact on me. Not knowing if I’d ever perform again during the first lockdown really brought me down and it impacted my creativity for a few weeks. But then, slowly but surely I started writing again and having fun with trying different things.
Did you miss the live experience and what does it give you emotionally when you play live?
To me, playing live is the essence of who I am as an artist. I am really proud of my live performances and I throw every ounce of passion into creating an experience the audience won’t forget. When the Live Music stopped it was such a strange time. During Lockdown I did a few live stream shows. I really dislike doing live streams in comparison but I was glad I could still connect with my supporters and bring a smile to their faces from afar.
Emotionally, I am presenting so many different aspects of daily life through my songs. Love, loss, good times, bad times. I suppose in a way to communicate these ideas properly I have to make the show emotional and really feel it as I play and sing the lyrics. There have been times where I’ve been so moved that I’ve cried onstage and that has brought the show to another level.
I like to play with a lot of energy when I’m onstage. You’ll see me bouncing around, smiling and engaging with the crowd for the more upbeat songs in the set.
The Ep, The Edenhurst Session – melodies sweep you along and lyrics of heartbreak with relationships and love appear throughout – are the subject matters close to your heart as such, your experiences?
Most of my songs have been inspired by experiences that I’ve had in my life. I definitely feel that songwriting is a very therapeutic way of processing things that have happened to me. I’ve had some great conversations when I’ve stepped offstage and someone’s praised the show and said ‘Those lyrics in that song really resonated with me’.
Is Liverpool an inspiration to you?
Liverpool has definitely inspired me and shaped my career. I’ve met so many great people ( and some not so great haha) over the years and they’ve for good or bad helped to shape who I am today as an artist and a person. It’s honestly such a great feeling to be connected to the rich cultural and musical history of Liverpool as a city and Merseyside as a region.
And finally, what next for Cal Ruddy?
I’m currently working on new music so keep an eye on my social media for updates on that as we progress through 2022. Ultimately, I just want to keep on growing and developing as a Singer/Songwriter and a performing artist. I’m looking forward to playing live as much as I can across the UK this year.
Thanks so much to Cal & Klee Music