what they say about Ruby:
You poor pathetic wretched washed-up musician. It is sad to see how far you've sunk into the abyss of desperation. An announcement in the HTC bulletin by your Bubby & Zeide!! Now that all remnants of your once proud career have disappeared, would you like to be my roadie?
Allen Leiberman-Composer, Annoyer
That, of course, was a joke. Here are the real testimonials:
Harris is far more authentic than, say, the Blues Brothers, but closer to the easy-going B.B. King and Buddy Guy than scorched-earth performers like Howlin’Wolf or big Mama Thornton. His voice is quite expressive and reminiscent of Jerry Garcia’s or Levon Helm’s. The fact that Harris doesn’t simply coast on his novelty, but always reaches for a higher degree of playing, is a testament to his musicianship and his dedication to the blues. If the violin is to be reintroduced as a serious blues instrument, Harris makes a persuasive ambassador, and “Almost Home” an irrefutable piece of diplomacy.
Hey Ruby; Congratulations on the Metropolitan Opera concert! Keep up the great work! Love,
Your music last night was phenomenal. You really knew how to work with the group, getting them exited and involved, but at exactly the right level. I wish you well with your musical endeavors and entertainment.
Anita Miller--Keshet Executive
I put you right up there with Carlbach, MBD, Fried and the rest, Ruby. You were and are still one of the true originals in Jewish music...a no compromising genuine artist singing what's inside of his inspired soul... it was always a pleasure. It was a privilege to be on the same stage with you the few times we had the chance to jam together. Sweet memories, Ruby. Just listened to your CD samples. Your still getting better...if that's even possible. Your biggest fan,
Moshe Yess --Legend
Material: A veteran of the Chicago blues scene who has not only performed at Carnegie Hall, but also appeared on MTV with Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Ruby Harris, billed as “The Father of Jewish Rock,” fashions songs around a fiery electric violin, as well as mandolin and guitar. While most of his material is blues inspired, he also updates antiquated cover tunes that are so obscure they may as well be originals. Almost psychedelic with a bluesy gossamer, his music is moody, moving and entirely captivating.
Musicianship: Sounding like an all-star jam band, this group shines. Harris generally leads the way with intricate runs that know no bounds. When one player takes off into a sonic stratosphere the others quickly follow, making this group unpredictable in its approach and structure. But, it all works to perfection, especially when Harris riffs on his violin.
Performance: Skillful and agile, Ruby Harris created a unique environment like no other. Hearing Delta blues and boogie-woogie played on a violin, rather than a guitar or piano, was intriguing on its own, but that soundscape was amplified by Harris with an intensity that was exotic and exciting. A consummate performer, he told stories that held the crowd and led nicely into each song. The only drawback was his fondness for corny jokes. But, even that endeared him to his audience.
Summary: Ruby Harris played for almost an hour and a half, and it wasn’t nearly long enough. His “Jews with Blues” style is not only unique, it’s utterly spellbinding. Surprising, yet comforting, Harris takes the blues beyond its typical territory and opens up not only the whole genre, but his listeners’ minds as well. That is the epitome of a real artist.
Bernard Baur--Music Connection Magazine http://musicconnection.com
Last night I had the privilege in joining the great Ruby Harris and many others such as Pey Daled in a special concert for Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach at the convention. Everyone who attended the concert was touched...the sound was great...we all jammed together at the end to a spiritual high. (regarding) "There's A Voice" in memory of our mentor Emil Leuchter Z"L, the tune also features the great Ruby Harris on violin, so stay tuned for further developments.
Izzy and Heshy A/K/A Reality Shock
Ruby Harris is an undisputable virtuoso on violin and mandolin. He plays blues, klezmer, folk, rock and any other other genre you can think of.
David Margulis-- Even Sh’siyah
YOU ARE IMPRESSIVE. I am very proud of you.
Stacey Stich—Hollywood artist
Rabbinical Haskama: I hereby recommend without any hesitation at all, for anyone who loves good music with Jewish soul, to see the one and only Ruby Harris in concert. I was honored to have had him as a guest star two summers ago at the last Newburgh Jewish Music Festival. He is without doubt one of the greats of our generation. Not to be missed! With love of Israel,
Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman
Ruby Harris' "Almost Home" consists of eight self penned compositions and tracks originally by Muddy, Chuck, Little Walter and even a Hendrix influenced number. Besides the stunning electric violin by Ruby himself other guests include Pinetop Perkins, Sugar Blue, Lester Davenport and Little Mack Simmons among others
Your playing was wonderful :-) Have the best Purim , Holy Brother, Love
Joe and I and our families had a wonderful time, and everyone else who was there tells us it was a great wedding too--but then again, what else would they tell us?!
Joe & Deena Newlander—Bride/Groom
I want to tell Ruby how wonderful it was to hear you play. Such energy and talent.
There are no real words to express how grateful & honored I was to have you perform at the Concert of Miracles. You brought so much joy & positive energy...the guests appeared to enjoy & appreciate your special music & talent. Baruch Hashem! Thank you again for all your hard work, devotion & mitzvah with helping the victims of terror.
Laura-Chana Leah VAT
You are fantastic!... your playing touches my heart on a real soul level... every time I hear you it's amazing...You saved my whole recording! Thank you my dear Ruby!
Mary-Jo Romero—Rockabilly artist
The party was great fun. You sounded great and everyone commented how you got off!
(regarding) Life to Your Soul by Oneg Shemesh...While the music is pleasant in general, something really special is added by the presence of Ruby Harris on violin and mandolin.
OU/NCSY Web page
HankFest was a resounding success in every way. You played magnificently and added immeasurably to the evening. It was a privilege to share a stage with you.
Thanks for your help with our music. It really sounds great in the mix and adds a professional sound to the song. It's also a feather in our cap to have a musician of your talent featured on our CD. Thanks once again. with blessings,
Thanks for coming out last night and adding your beautiful energy and your beautiful playing to the mix. You really played so gorgeous and heartfelt. . . at a time where people needed to feel what they were feeling. Love
D. (Debby Winston Buzil)
Glad you like the jazmer CD. I think you played and sang with great energy and love. Shalom
We really enjoyed the Peter Yarrow show. You were great. Nice band, too. My wife, aunt, uncle and cousin were all duly impressed.
Mando Dave—Lawyer and Mandolinist
After listening to just a couple of samples I can see why my daughter wants you only to play at her wedding next spring.
Ever since discovering my mother's Diaspora Yeshiva Band LPs, I have been a big fan of your music. I was pleasantly surprised recently when you played with Piamenta at Yeshiva University.
Thank you for tonight's lesson. I think Liam really likes you; he didn't want to go home. Also, I could see that he benefited directly from your instruction.
Joshua R. Samos—Professor, Truman College
Thanks so much for sending in your CD. I'm a musician too and can appreciate how much effort went into your production.
Please know that I've listened to your music and enjoyed it very much. If we end up using it on All Things Considered, we'll let you know.
Robin Hilton--Producer, NPR's All Songs Considered
I feel fortunate to have you playing with us and to have you as a friend.
Larry (Robinson, WDCB)
(re: “Almost Home” CD)...It's very beautiful and interesting both from an artistic and cultural standpoint. We will encourage our members to listen to it.
Riccardo Pecoraro--Ufficio Cultura, Città di Capri, ITALIA
Hey I heard your Irish influx in the Horas you played last night (also a little bluegrass-it was fabulous). My client thought you were wonderful: "the best I've ever seen!" They thought I was so wonderful for having gotten you! :) It was great fun and I was happy to hang with you a little bit. Your fiddle sounded great!!! Can't wait to do it again!
As if I'm worthy to jam with you...You are way out of my league, but I hope to catch one of your shows soon. Peace,
Anne Harris—rock star
We were just listening to your BLUES CD in the car, and it’s truly fantastic. Incredible Blues violin playing ! The more I listen, the more I can appreciate the work that went into it and the talent that you assembled.
Peter Friedman—Miami Activist
Finally the answer to my prayers!! My CD Changer inevitably has only Blues music and Carlebach, so it's good to see someone out there playing blues with "neshama".
Avraham ben Tzvi—WTC Survivor
Yes, I have Steve Arvey's CD. Your collaboration with him is my favorite thing on it.
Scott Dirks—WXRT DJ
I believe your Almost Home album is a stroke of Jewish genius. As an old Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley fan its an unbelievable event in my life to connect to the mourning for the Bes Hamikdash(Broken Glass) in the medium of Blues. And "Pour that Water" unbelievable! Could we play that in the Third Temple please? Will the Rabbis allow it? Shlomo probably would! May Hashem grant you further success in using your talents for Avodas Hashem.
Lazer Gartner—NY DJ
We received so many calls from our friends and family today. All of them raved about the music. Thank you so much for making the evening so much fun. I hope that I can recommend you for other parties.
I've been enjoying your music very much. I like the diversity that you have demonstrated so well, and there seems to be very few violin players that play blues. It seems most violin players head toward Jazz, but, to me, there is nothing quite like down and dirty blues.
AWESOME!!!! When can we see a pure Ruby Harris performance in his solo glorious lonesome? Would love to see you on the same bill as Yitzchok Halevi band
Yehuda Block—NCSY Executive
Love your stuff... ever since Diaspora! Have you ever done anything with Andy Statman? If yes, THAT would be something to get hold of!
Thanks for playing at the wedding. People really liked the Skver Dance.Take care.
Avraham Rosenblum—Diaspora Yeshiva Band
Did you know that you were specifically complimented in a review of the Oneg Shemesh CD last year? ... something really special is added by the presence of Ruby Harris on violin and mandolin. Those touches help make the CD.
J. Abramowitz—NCSY Executive
Thanks to all who shared N.Y.E. with us especially Mr. BLOTTO for having us open for them. What a great time! Our latest CD "Tales from Magic Stone Mountain" with special guest star Ruby Harris has rated in the Top 5 Albums of 2003 by Richard Milne, host of 93.1 WXRT's Local Anesthetic music show.