Amber Rubarth

Singer/Songwriter

Amber Rubarth has a playful simplicity and insightfulness to her musings on life that has connected with people around the world. She has performed in villages across South Africa and small clubs in Japan, at Carnegie Hall, and backed up by a full chamber orchestra, as well as hundreds of clubs and theaters throughout Europe and the US. "She has developed a unique gift of knocking down walls with songs so strong they sound like classics from another era." -Acoustic Guitar Magazine. The word has spread organically around her independently released albums, attracting glowing features from The Huffington Post, NPR, and BBC Radio. She has been hand-picked to open tours for songwriting legends Emmylou Harris, Kenny Loggins, Richie Havens, Marc Cohn, Loudon Wainwright III and Dr. Ralph Stanley and was awarded Grand Prize in NPR's Mountain Stage New Song Contest. A live recording of Rubarth from Memphis' legendary Sun Studio is currently airing on PBS.

Rubarth's newest record, Wildflowers in the Graveyard, is a collection of songs she wrote after a car accident left her with a severe concussion and loss of the left side of her body. She didn’t know if she would play music again and to deal with this loss of identity turned to nature to observe its grace in cycling through life, death, and rebirth. The album opens with her raw vocals and a finger-picked guitar, “I’m walking to the edge of where the river meets the sky / Holding my head up and closing my eyes / And all the answers I’ve been hoping to find / Are written in the water." All songs are self-penned and recorded in analogue straight to 2" tape with engineer and co-producer Matt Andrews (Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Dawes) in her hometown of Nashville. The record has a bold magnetic energy that reveals layers with the elegance of a wildflower in a land consumed by fireworks.

In addition to her solo music, Amber recently made her acting debut starring alongside folk troubadour Joe Purdy in the award-winning feature film American Folk, which released to great acclaim in January 2018. Rolling Stone calls it “Enchanting” and Variety says “Timeless… Understatedly moving." She has also scored and composed for films including the highly acclaimed Sundance Film Festival winner Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (with Paul Brill) and the award-winning documentary Desert Runners. She is founder of two collaboration projects, Brooklyn indie band The Paper Raincoat, an iTunes Indie Spotlight featured in commercials for Google and Aquafina, and UK-based harmony folk trio Applewood Road, whose debut album was named The Telegraph's Best Albums of 2016, with The London Sunday Times calling it “a flawless set that has to be the most haunting release of the past year."

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.