Promising future awaits teen
Playing Folsom Prison Blues on an acoustic guitar in the Hauraki Plains College schoolyard marked a turning point for singer-songwriter Ruby Walsh.
Much like Wednesday night last week when a Smokefree Rockquest organiser called to say she had outshone her peers from other regions to claim the national women's musicianship award.
She pocketed $1000 and a truckload of confidence from it.
The cash will go towards a $2500 handmade Australian electric acoustic guitar to replace her second-hand, "pretty hori", $28 Sonic. Singer-songwriter Annah Mac judged the awards and reckons Ruby, 16, is a real talent with a promising future if she chooses to develop herself.
The Kaiaua resident intends to.
Since that day in 2011 performing Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues, Ruby has immersed herself in lyrics, guitar and song.
Next year she wants to release an EP and in 2014 she plans to enrol in a Bachelor of Music, majoring in popular music, at Auckland University.
"At the end of last year I had this big dispute between chemistry and music because they clashed," Ruby says.
"Mum wanted me to take chemistry because it's academic but I wanted music because I knew I was good at it and I really enjoyed it. Then it clicked and this whole year I've been living it - it's my passion. I do it all the time. It doesn't seem like hard work for me."
To enter the musicianship awards Ruby put together a 10-minute video of original music with her former band, Getting Up Backwards.