Martin Ruby Pours His Heart Out on "Rusty Trucks and Daisies"
We previously covered music by Martin Ruby, an alt-folk project of Brooklyn-born singer and multi-instrumentalist Marco North, now living in Tbilisi, Georgia. The tunes we featured both came from his latest instrumental album Jacob and the Angel, a timeless collection of compositions often played on rare and forgotten instruments.

His new song is a heart-wrenching tribute to a friend lost to Covid and the times when they both were young. Musically Marco channels his inner Brian Wilson. It reminds me of a quote from artist and producer Blood Orange about his favourite song of all time, "Beat a Drum" by R.E.M.: "[They are] attempting some kind of Brian Wilson type thing... that's not as awful as that sounds. It's actually incredible."

Marco is also quick to criticize himself for this attempt: "I know that is just laughable". But it's actually incredible. And of course, there's Marco's one-of-a-kind deep voice. Listen and read the full story behind the song.

Marco North
There were these phone calls in the middle of the night. Molly was dead, from Covid. We had just gotten back to talking again, putting the past in place, cracking jokes about the old days when we played at CBGBs. Just a day before, I had begun writing a new single, "She never slept in the Chelsea Hotel. But she bought an old guitar, just 'round the corner." That is how this unexpected tribute came to be. Those lines were about her, I just did not know it yet.

Molly lived such a mysterious life, full of contradictions and left turns. How was I going to write a song about her? Well, I knew I did not want to candy-coat the past. In the end this is a song about the survivors, as much as the friend that went too soon.

Once I had the song in place and the lyrics were working, I felt like chasing my own personal Brian Wilson experience, to really try and arrange it, find the big parts and the small details, my own attempt at Good Vibrations, or In My Room. I know that is just laughable, but I thought that the sheer act of TRYING would take me somewhere new. I played mandolin and bass on this for the first time, so anything felt possible.

The tracking of the supporting instruments on this was just epic. I tried a million things, and some of them worked, often mixed so far down you don't know they are there but if I turned them off you might miss them. That mandolin line at the very end of the song is a shining moment, an example of what I wanted the whole thing to feel like. Well, I got there for a few seconds.

Also revisit a standout track from Marco's excellent latest album "Jacob and the Angel".
Photo credits: Irakli Katsadze.