If on any given morning on a sunny day you should find yourself in a quaint neighborhood in west Nashville, and if you should happen by the right house, there’s a good chance you might see a pretty girl relaxing on the deck in her back yard. You’ll know the girl I’m talking about if she’s wearing her comfy clothes, sitting Indian-style in a chair with a guitar in her lap. Seated next to her will be a precocious Chihuahua named Emmylou. Emmylou will be looking at the guitar, envious of its superior position. On the table in front of the girl you’ll find a notebook and a cup of coffee. She spends sunny mornings like these writing songs about her life, or perhaps of something she heard or saw the night before.
In the evenings she likes to sing her songs - sometimes in her living room, sometimes at a friend’s house, and sometimes on a stage somewhere. These are the things she does best. These are the things she loves. This is her story.
On a grape farm in rural Fredonia, New York, Ruth Collins was raised the youngest of four daughters by a musically inclined mother and a father who is an educator. Seeing a creative spark in Ruth, her mother first introduced her to music at the age of three and throughout her childhood she studied violin and classical piano. In high school Ruth stayed musically active in every way possible, performing in musicals and in all-county and all-state orchestras. Her dad turned her on to James Taylor, and Ruth’s love of writing songs quickly grew.
After high school she was accepted into the songwriting program at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she learned to play guitar and honed her skills as a writer. Throughout her years at Berklee, Ruth felt a constant yearning for adventure. Just a semester shy of graduation, a fellow singer/songwriter that she had been performing with turned her on to an opportunity to be the Contemporary Vocal Director at the largest Lutheran church in the country located in San Antonio, Texas. Ruth seized the opportunity and landed the job where she directed the choir, sang, and wrote and produced worship albums.
After a few years in San Antonio, Ruth was ready once again for a change and another challenge. In 2007, at the beckoning of a few of her Berklee peers, she packed up and moved to the songwriter’s Mecca of Nashville where she quickly began making friends in the creative community. While waiting tables at a popular Nashville restaurant she met Victoria Gibson, who had recently been a finalist on the popular television show Nashville Star. Victoria had been invited to audition for a new show called Can You Duet, and invited Ruth to join her in the duo they eventually called Wild Honey. Although they made it to the top six, Wild Honey disbanded soon after the show was over and Ruth began working on a solo career.
With the attention she garnered from the national television exposure of Can You Duet, Ruth found herself co-writing with many of Nashville’s most successful songwriters including Steve Bogard, Jeff Cohen, Josh Leo, Nathan Chapman, and Jonathan Singleton, and her songs and live shows have been steadily turning heads throughout the Music Row community ever since.
So, if you happen to see that pretty girl singing at a friend’s house or on a stage somewhere, put an extra dollar in her tip jar and tell her to give your regards to Emmylou. After all, these are the things she does best. These are the things she loves. Her story is just beginning.