Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers are a high octane Americana roots and rockabilly four piece combo that plays twang the way it was meant to be heard- with attitude! Their music encompasses Texas honky-tonk, Bakersfield twang, Memphis rockabilly, Western swing and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll.
After nearly constant touring for the past fourteen years, including thousands of dates across America, Europe, and Australia, Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers released LITTLE BLACK HEART (Catty Town Records/Rhythm Bomb July 2016)- the first songs Ruby has been able to write since her near-death vehicle accident eight years ago that left her with a moderately severe TBI. Initially unable to complete sentences, let alone write after the accident, Ruby fought her way back and is able to write the lyrics and music again for which the band has become so well loved.
Ruby’s new songs are written from the heart- about topics that make life worth living: songs about standing up to abuse, showing who you really are in this world, letting the sadness in when necessary and more.
The band’s release LIVE FROM AUSTIN TEXAS came out mid May 2011 on both CD and vinyl, showcasing a few new songs and fans old favorites cranked up with that live jumpin’ sound for which the Snakehandlers are so well known. Songs from the CD charted for three months on both the AMA and Texas Third Coast Music charts, and the CD earned the band a 54th Grammy consideration for Best Americana Album.
Their last: ROCKABILLY PLAYGROUND came out May 2013 on both CD and vinyl, and is a roots and rockabilly album for the whole family. With all mature instrumentation and lyrics for the kids: songs about homework, naptime, why we have to follow all the rules, super best friends, and more. Ruby wrote the record when she saw how many of their fans have children and when they can bring them to shows, how many of those kids LOVE this style of music! Songs from the album charted on both AMA and FAR charts, and earned the band a 56th Grammy consideration for Best Children’s Album.
Currently providing the rock-solid honky-tonk groove backing Ruby Dee and Gretsch-endorsed Jorge Harada are Mike Smith on cathouse drums and Rick Watson on doghouse bass.
LITTLE BLACK HEART garnered the Snakehandlers 8 spots on the primary ballot for the 59th Grammy awards, including Best Americana Album and Best American Roots song. The album continues to chart well, and get great reviews. And of course, Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers continue to write more new music, so stay tuned for what’s next!
“Risky — and perhaps just a bit risqué — Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers conjure forth all sorts of visions of another time. Rooted firmly in the classic country and rockabilly tradition, the band is an authentic backdrop for lead singer Ruby Dee’s blend of Wanda Jackson sass and Patsy Cline pathos. The band holds it down with the insistence of a chugging train while Dee, a pinup heartbreaker of yesteryear with thoroughly modern attitude, commands the stage.” says Metro San Francisco.