Ruthie Collins Plays the Hotel Cafe [Setlist]

The melancholy of her music was tempered by her biting (and often self-deprecating) wit.

November 29, 2019
Ruthie Collins

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


While the rest of Los Angeles was seemingly out of town for the holiday, or shopping, singer-songwriters Paul Freeman and Ruthie Collins took turns singing together and singing separately in their set at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on Black Friday (November 29th). 

Their history as friends and collaborators was apparent with their gentle teasing and on-stage camaraderie, matched by their vocal and songwriting abilities, aided by the pristine acoustics of the tiny venue. There wasn't a dry eye in sight by the time Paul finished the gutting "Prayers and Pills and Pictures," and Ruthie's songs came close to being equally depressing, but she gave the audience fair warning as she tuned for "The River," noting that, "This is the only happy song I wrote this year."

But the melancholy of her music was tempered by her biting (and often self-deprecating) wit, joking, "Some people call it 'oversharing. I call it, 'I like tequila!'"

California played a role in a couple of songs she played, most notably "Joshua Tree," inspired by Emmylou Harris's rumored love for Gram Parsons, which she had been unable to tell him about before he died, but also "Black Mustang," its "emotionally charged" lyrics a result of either the boy in the Mustange, or the experience itself (sometimes its hard to separate the two). 

Other boys were the catalyst for songs like "Hypocrite" and her current single, "Dang Dallas," which she noted had been written in her vintage Argosy airstream, which is usually parked in her best friend's driveway.

With a new album in the works, and one can only look forward to more airstream songs inspired by California from this promising artist.


Paul Freeman:

1. Forgotten Friends

2. The Other Half

3. Prayers and Pills and Pictures

4. Heroes

Paul Freeman & Ruthie Collins

1. The River

Ruthie Collins:

1. Joshua Tree

2. Hypocrite

3. Black Mustang

4. Dang Dallas

Paul Freeman & Ruthie Collins

1. Come Around