Folk Fest: Rutledge’s novel take on country
While most singer-songwriters cite other musicians as their greatest inspiration, Ontario’s Justin Rutledge finds himself heavily influenced by novels.
Because he reads so much, the 30-year-old said that the literature has rubbed off on him and been infused into the lyrics of his unconventional country-style sound.
“I just read a lot,” explained Rutledge. “If you do something long enough, it rubs off and influences you.”
As lyrics seem to play a large role in Rutledge’s songs, it’s only fitting that in addition to performing, he was asked to be a part of a lyrical workshop for artists during this year’s Folk Fest.
Folk Fest Spotlight
Shows: Thursday evening mainstage, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 3:10 p.m. Stage 3 (with Steven Page, Good Lovelies, Sarah Harmer)
Sun. 11:30 a.m. Stage 6 (with Mark Berube, Ferron, Tom Fun Orchestra) & 3:10 p.m. Stage 3 (with Mark Berube, Carolyn Mark, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald)
After performing with acts such as Dolly Parton and Blue Rodeo, Rutledge is no stranger to the stage, but he said that the festival atmosphere is something unique.
“Festivals are different in that there’s a real sort of community feel,” he said.
Despite being a performer at a festival based on folk music, Rutledge said he wouldn’t necessarily classify himself or the festival as purely folk.
“It’s more of a world music festival,” he said. “I guess all I do is I write songs … I kind of play more country music.”
Whatever the genre, Rutledge will be sure to bring to the stage his poetic lyrics accompanied by his mellow and almost haunting sound.