by Martyna Turczynowicz
Blue Rubies are a folk/roots act that debuted at the Galaxie Young Performers Program last year. The trio is made up of Mady Reimer on ukulele, vocals and tambourine, Cory Sulyma on harmonica, guitar, drums and vocals and Ben Mak-Wiebe on upright bass. Stylus chatted with them before their second round in the program as Blue Rubies.
Stylus: When did you guys start playing together?
Mady Reimer: I met Corey five years ago through another band. Ben and Corey met each other through the band Hey Rue, a rock-blues band. We got together to see if we’d make it into the Young Performers Program. We made it and it went really well so we kept pursuing it as a group.
Ben Mak-Wiebe: We got together, did some recording and sent it to Folk Fest. The Young Performers Showcase was actually our first show. It was for fun at first, but we got in and took it from there.
Stylus: What was the YPP like for Blue Rubies last year?
MR: It’s really nice because we get to experience talking to other musicians and meeting new mentors. We learned so much.
Stylus: Who was your mentor last year?
Cory Sulyma: Alyson Degroot, from Oh My Darling. It was awesome. The Thursday before we performed, we were in a workshop with all the other performers in our group. We performed our songs and gave feedback. We don’t work with a mentor outside of the program. We’re kind of each other’s mentors; we critique each other. We’re our own worst critics. We try to make it our best possible.
Stylus: Who’s your mentor this year?
CS: Our mentor is Johhny Irion. He’s from California. He’s in a duo with Sarah Lee Guthree. Sarah is Woody’s Guthree’s granddaughter and he’s John Steinbeck’s grandnephew. They’re both from pretty cool families and they’re married. It’s super cool. They’re a lot like Shovels and Ropes; country folk, country rock, roots.
Stylus: What have you guys been up to since last year’s Folk Fest?
BMW: Mainly just writing songs, practicing and getting our name out there. Recently we started recording our EP. That should be out in a month or so. We’re planning to give it out at Folk Fest.
Stylus: Any acts at folk fest you’re excited about this year?
MR: Shovels and Ropes, I just got into them and I think they’re amazing. I really want to see Strumbellas too.
CS: Spirit Family Reunion, they’re from somewhere in the Souther States. They’re folk roots, kind of southern sound.
BMW: Sheepdogs and Deep Dark Woods.
Don’t miss Blue Rubies down at Shady Grove!