Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amber Rubarth: A Cinderella Story

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a little girl named Amber Rubarth whose love for music started with the piano at age 3. As she grew up, the inexperienced, shy, and insecure teenager found herself torn about what path she desired to take in life, and so, Amber said goodbye to her lovely home in California and set forth on a journey to discover what lay ahead. The 17-year-old found herself in Carson City, Nevada, originally planning to attend college but drawn to another unique and unusual livelihood.

On a simple bike ride one afternoon Amber came across a flyer for a wood sculpture apprenticeship. Thinking, “That sounds fun,” she researched the opportunity further and discovered an unexpected interest in the art. Three and half years later, Rubarth’s teacher noticed her enthusiasm dwindling and encouraged her to determine what inspired and sparked excitement within, and then to pursue it. “I knew it was music,” Amber says, reflecting on her early experimentation with songwriting and playing. “But I had never played guitar and I had never played out. It was such a personal thing.”

And here our fairytale begins. Rubarth packed up the wood sculpting career, and headed to Reno to explore her dormant passion. Hitting up local coffee shops to check out musicians passing through, it was after Joel Ackerson and Seth Horan, both singer-songwriters from New York, ventured into town on tour that Amber discovered her first big connection into the music world. Rubarth was invited to join them on tour, and took the opportunity to dive into and learn more about the singer-songwriter world that was so fresh and new to this budding artist.

A painfully shy adolescent, Amber wrote her first three songs as a freshman in high school, using songwriting as an outlet because she was hesitant to talk to people about her feelings. During her time in Reno, playing out and observing the talents that passed through the city, Rubarth started to come into her own, and was quickly discovered and recognized across town. “Even when I first started writing I was super shy. I remember my first open mic- my head was down and I thought it was really weird people were looking at me… I was quite awkward for awhile,” Amber recalls, laughing at the memory. “And then it just wore off. As long as I don’t think about myself it’s not awkward. If I’m focusing on the song, the music, or the people that came to the show it’s easier.”

Rubarth’s ambivalent background comes as a surprise to anyone who’s seen the sweet, genuine, down-to-earth lovely burst to life in performance. Her quirky, light style, girl-next-door quality and honest, uncontrived lyrics brighten the audience and bring a breath of fresh air to the stage. Since making the move to New York City two and half years ago, Amber has captured the hearts of industry reps, popular venues, and respected musicians all over, with so many doors opening it’s impressive she’s kept it all aligned and balanced. In just her first trip to NYC, Rubarth made a connection on by simply posting that she was in town and available for any acts looking for an opener. “Twenty minutes later I got an e-mail back. Someone had just cancelled an 8:00 slot at the Living Room on a Thursday night, and they asked if I wanted to open for them,” reveals Amber, her voice dripping with excitement over booking a Living Room gig first time out.

Now Rubarth’s resume reads like a chapter in the book “How to Become an Incredible Singer-Songwriter, Record Amazing Albums, Travel the World, and Still Manage to Be the Coolest Chick in NYC.” Utilizing the internet as her prominent source for networking, booking, and promoting, Amber has opened for artists such as Lisa Loeb and Brett Dennen- who simply discovered Rubarth’s music on MySpace and e-mailed her to join him on tour. Another opportunity that came about through a MySpace’s “Friends and Family” music connection, a program that highlights independent and unsigned artists on the popular networking site, is the upcoming Joshua Radin tour. When Radin’s managers were seeking opening acts they approached MySpace music, Amber’s name was recommended, and starting this September she will travel around the country with Radin and Gary Jules, sharing her beloved music with an ever-growing fan base.

In addition, Rubarth is in the process of releasing her newest full-length CD “Good Mystery,” the third album to hit the public since 2005. Recorded in upstate New York at an old church in Syracuse, Amber is extremely excited to bestow her latest work onto eager listeners. “The first [album] was ‘Hey, I have ten songs and I’m gonna put them all together!’” Rubarth smiles, continuing, “The second was really exciting at first and then everything sort of crumbled and collapsed around it. This one feels good because I co-produced it, I had a bunch of songs to choose from, and I knew what kind of sounds I wanted.”

Furthermore, the bright-eyed entrepreneur will be releasing another CD with Paper Raincoat, her band co-fronted with colleague and friend Alex Wong, and taking a brief trip to India to partake in TED Talks, where she’ll experience motivational and informative speeches by renowned innovators and creative minds.

All this will be happening after the “Good Mystery” Record Release party this Friday, August 21, at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Thrilled for the album to debut in the city she now calls home, Amber is looking forward to a long career ahead, much like those of Tom Waits and Josh Ritter, whose careers she respects, admires, and hopes to emulate one day due to their innovative, thoughtful song writing and eternal reinvention of themselves and their music.

From the timid teenager sculpting wood in the depths of Nevada to the proud-yet-humble young woman gracing stages throughout the US and Europe, Amber Rubarth has truly become the Cinderella of the singer-songwriter world. Living her life in the moment and not over thinking every step along the way, Amber exemplifies how dreams can come true; just believe in yourself and the desire to be aggressive in who you are and who you want to be. In an industry where struggle, frustration, and self-doubt is a part of daily existence, it’s refreshing to see an artist who leads with an open mind and an open heart, ready to rule the music community long after the clock strikes twelve.

For more information on Amber please visit,, or become a fan on Facebook at

AND be sure to check out the "Good Mystery" Record Release Party at Joe's Pub in NYC, this Friday, August 21 at 7:00pm!


  1. Amber's certainly come a very long way in a very short time. Glad to see her getting her due!

  2. Could not agree more: we were first also struck by her "sweet, genuine, down-to-earth lovely burst to life in performance".

    Then perhaps even more so, by her brilliant song writing and musicianship.

    We look forward to watching her star continue its lovely ascent!

  3. In an industry where struggle, frustration, and self-doubt is a part of daily existence, it’s refreshing to see an artist who leads with an open mind and an open heart

  4. very nice blog!

  5. Great post, Nice work. That's one quilt I want to make! I must say thanks.

  6. This is such an inspiring story!