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artist Ruth Minnikin

Dartmouth, NS, CANADA
Songmill Music

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biographical info


- ‘The Minnikins’ Photo Album' Bio -

I release ‘The Minnikins’ Photo Album’ to my family, music lovers, writers, DJs, artists and concept builders.

The first inkling of The Photo Album was born back in twenty-ten, when I made the decision to initiate an ancestral archive of stories taken from photographs, letters and songs. For a year of Thursdays I visited with my Nana (her mother is on the album cover) and we reminisced and sang hymns at her piano.

Keeping with familiarity and tradition, I summonsed my brother Gabriel and sister Amy to share their talents alongside my closest friends and musical family (The Guthries, The Heavy Blinkers and The Echo Chamber).

Undeniably my heart was swollen as I wrote, but I daydream that my next bout of inspiration comes from love, salt water and the children I will teach on Jeju Island over the next year. Or, the waves on The East China Sea may swell into sounds of longing and heartache for Canada, the Atlantic Ocean and it’s folks (just like the time I moved to England). But that’s a different bio entirely.

‘The Minnikins’ Photo Album’, recorded and assembled, will magically appear just in time to mouth the words “goodbye for now”.

History fueled music, wrapped in denim. It’s in the genes.

- Press Quotes - The Minnikins’ Photo Album–


- The Globe and Mail - 4/4 Stars - Disc of the Week/2012 Picks of the Year -

"As gracious and inviting album as I have ever heard."



- Americana UK - 9/10 -

"This is a pure, honest, no frills album that is both genuine and utterly beautiful."



- Bob Mersereau CBC -

"Compelling and fascinating, like those interrupted dreams you can't quite remember, but wish so much you could."



- Now Magazine - NNNN -

"On 'Letters For You', Minnikin delivers one of her most beautiful vocal performances yet."   



- Herohill Music Blog -  

"Washed in sepia tones; images faded and cracked Ruth sings in the spirit of tradition and lineage"



- New Canadian Music - Folk Album of the Week -

"Superb effort here. There is a soft and pure quality to Minnikin's vocals."


- Ruth Minnikin & her bandwagon - Depend on This -


Won 'Electronic Album of the Year'!!

Nominated for 2 East Coast Music Awards & 2 Nova Scotia Music Awards!!

'SOCAN Songwriter of the Year' & 'Electronic Album of the Year'


- 2010 Depend on This Bio -

Twenty-seven months, two weeks, five days and eleven hours after it's noble beginnings, Ruth Minnikin and her Bandwagon released their orchestral opus, 'Depend on This'.

During it's creation, Minnikin tirelessly cultivated her creativity over months of mournful mornings, aloof afternoons and nestled, late-night writing sessions. 'Depend on This' takes it's walk on the red carpet of artistic endurance and tested every ounce of Ruth's body and brain. 

With the vision of a tiny symphony swaying in her mind's eye, Minnikin mentally battled and yearned for the momentum to finish the piece. Minnikin describes the completed album as "a conceptually dramatized exaggeration of an avant-garde jalapeno pepper on a life raft."

Depend on This' uber-calculated conclusion spans the Atlantic Ocean and unites seventeen magical musicians, twenty-three integral instruments, a men's vocal choir, three pop producers, one sound artist, and a handful of visual artists.

On her acclaimed 2006 release 'Folk Art', Ruth Minnikin stuck to the essentials. Contained in a hand-sewn, ink-stamped canvas case, the album's packaging reflected the music within. Rootsy, bare and without pretension, 'Folk Art' offered eleven tracks from an artist with her focus set on the songs and the live-recording process.

Minnikin's varied and accomplished musical history has surely helped hone this kind of concentration. Her first band, Booming Airplanes, was signed to EMI during the Halifax pop explosion of the '90's. Her chamber-pop side project, The Heavy Blinkers developed a cult following all over the world, and at the turn of the millennium, Ruth made two albums and toured the UK and the US with alt-country quintet, The Guthries.


- Ruth's song 'Depend on This', received honorable mention in the 16th annual Billboard World Song Contest!! "Very cool song, unique and fresh. Excellent work. Wonderful blend of sounds and musical flavours." -


- Some Past Nods - 

Ruth Minnikin has performed at international conferences ECMA, NSMW, CMW, NXNE, CMJ, The International Folk Alliance and SXSW

“Ruth and her brother are from Nova Scotia and play an assortment of instruments (accordion, mandolin and guitar) and sing glorious harmonies. Ruth sounds a bit like Laura Cantrell and her brother has a deep gruff voice like Billy Bob Thorton. It’s acts like these that make this particular festival a treat for music lovers. By the time they left the stage after a 30 minute set, there was a queue of 11 people at the merch stall, to buy their CD.” 

Live Review in Maverick Magazine 


" Canadian country gal Ruth Minnikin just gets better and better. Beautifully presented in a stamped canvas sleeve, third LP Folk Art (4 stars) finds her shifting further from the sweet country-folk of earlier work into the darker recesses of rural American tradition. A bony set of tunes veering from freakshow carnival nightmares ("Bad Dreams Pt.1") through N’awlins jazz ("Chicken Cooped Up In Country Music") to spare parlour folk ("Song Mill"). See for details." 

Uncut (UK) May 2007, Rob Hughes


" Ruth Minnikin signed with EMI as part of The Booming Airplanes at the age of 17. Ten years and several albums with Nova Scotian Alternative Country band The Guthries later, she issues her third solo record, Folk Art, in a small cloth bag with stenciled artwork, accompanied by a handwritten track sheet. Recorded and mixed in three days, even fans of lo-fi singer songwriters like Jolie Holland or Freakwater might find Folk Art a little minimal, but Minnikin's cracked vocal skips over perfectly miniaturized songs featuring mandolin, banjo and French horn. Find Folk Art at There's a hootenanny in the dolls’ house."

London Sunday Times (UK), Feb. 2007, Stewart Lee


“Play her when you have company and absolutely everyone will ask you who the singer is. Some will say she sounds like a female Leonard Cohen.”

Monday Magazine (BC)


“Ruth Minnikin has a voice that would harmonize happily with the McGarrigle sisters and writes songs of stark but simple emotion that are evocative of Natalie Merchant or Gillian Welch at their respective best.” 

Maverick Magazine (UK) 


- Ruth's unique voice has found her on upwards of 50 recordings. Some of the big-wigs that Ruth has been lucky enough to share a stage or CD space with are: Beth Orton (UK), David Byrne (UK), Gold Rush and KTB (UK), Orwell (France), The Handsome Family (US), Calexico (US), Kris Kristofferson (US), Joel Plaskett, The Super Friendz, Mike O'Neill, Wax Mannequin, Buck 65 and Blue Rodeo.

1996 Booming Airplanes - Yarn - singer/songwriter
1998 The Heavy Blinkers - Hooray For everything - singer
2000 The Heavy Blinkers - Self Titled - singer
2000 The Guthries - Off Windmill - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
2001 Joel Plaskett - Down at the Khyber - guest singer
2001 Hopeful Monster - Self Titled - guest singer
2001 The Heavy Blinkers - Better Weather - singer
2002 The Havenots (UK) - EP - guest singer, accordion, mandolin
2002 Paul Bellini - We Love Disco - guest singer
2002 The Guthries - Self Titled - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
2003 Ruth Minnikin - Live EP - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
2003 Heavy Blinkers - Papa Nez - Tribute to Michael Nesmith
2003 Heavy Blinkers - Split Single with Orwell (FR)
2004 The Heavy Blinkers - The Night And I Are Still So Young - singer
2004 Gabriel Minnikin - Hard Feelings - guest singer, accordion, mandolin
2004 Jason Haywood - Nothing Stays the Same - guest singer, accordion
2004 Reels - EP - guest singer
2004 The Hurtin' Unit - accordion
2004 Ruth Minnikin - Marooned and Blue - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
2005 The Hylozoists - guest singer
2005 Dale Murray - Brighter Lives, Darker Side - guest singer/songwriter
2005 Kate Maki - The Sun Will Find Us - guest singer, accordion
2005 Soundtrack to film - The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico - guest singer
2005 KTB (UK) - Bluebird - guest singer
2005 James Lyons Compilation (UK) - guest singer/songwriter
2005 Mid-Winter Night's Dream - singer/songwriter
2005 Jonathan Andrews - Halifax Indie Rock - guest singer
2005 Norma Macdonald - guest singer, accordion
2005 Old Man Luedecke - Hinderland - guest singer
2005 Mid-Autumn Night's Dream - singer/songwriter
2006 The Divorcees - guest singer
2006 Ruth Minnikin - Folk Art - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
2006 The Hylozoists - guest singer
2006 Johnny Stevens - guest singer, accordion
2007 Orwell (FR) - guest singer
2007 Gabriel Minnikin (UK) - guest singer, keys
2007 Reels - Autumn Country - bass, singer, keys, percussion
2007 Tribute Album to The Inbreds - contributed song
2007 Adam Puddington - organ, accordion, singer 
2008 Trush Hermit Tribute Album - contributed song
2008 The Russian Futurists - guest vocalist
2009 Kelly Sloan - accordion
2009 Rich Aucoin - guest vocalist
2009 Eric's Trip Tribute - contributed song
2009 Helen Creighton tribute album
2009 Savoury - accordion, singer
2009 Jason Haywood - accordion, singer
2009 Atlantic Voices - Rhino - contributed song
2009 Sloan Tribute - contributed song
2009 Zunior Christmas Album - contributed song
2010 Gabriel Minnikin - guest singer, accordion, percussion
2010 Andrew watt and the Glory Glory - guest singer
2010 Ruth Minnikin and her bandwagon - Depend on This
2011 Molly Thomason - Beauty Queen - accordion, singer
2011 Elevator Tribute - contributed song
2011 Norma MacDonald - guest singer
2011 Klarka Weinwerm - guest singer
2011 The Deadly Hearts - Hammond organ, percussion, singer
2011 A Reason for Hope - Benefit CD

2013 Gabriel Minnikin - Parakeets with Parasols




Ruth Minnikin - The Minnikins' Photo Album - 2012

Ruth Minnikin & her bandwagon - Depend on This - 2010 

Ruth Minnikin - Folk Art - 2006

Ruth Minnikin - Marooned and Blue - 2004

Ruth Minnikin - Live EP - 2003


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Ruth Minnikin songwriter/ distributor/ booker/ promoter
Gabriel Minnikin Vocals/Mandolin/Guitar
Craig Buckley Bass
Brain Murray Banjo/Percussion
Anna Plaskett French Horn
Dave Christensen Bass Clarinet/Flute


Dolly Parton
Iris Dement
The Beatles
Woody Guthrie
The Minnikins' Photo Album
Songmill Music
November, 2012
List Tracks ▼
Depend on This
Songmill Music
February, 2010
List Tracks ▼
Folk Art
Songmill Music
October, 2006
List Tracks ▼
Marooned and Blue
Songmill Music
August, 2004
List Tracks ▼
Ruth Minnikin Live EP
Songmill Music
October, 2003
List Tracks ▼


Song Mill 2:47

Song Mill

Directed - Tim McDonough

Stills Photography - Craig Buckley

Cosposer - Ruth Minnikin

Depend On This 4:32

Depend On This

Director - Andrew Stretch

Director of Photography - Ken LeBlanc

Composer - Ruth Minnikin

Four Churches II 3:36

Four Churches II

Director - Brian Lingley

Animation - Max Lingley

Composer - Ruth Minnikin

Song Production - Chuck Blazevic

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Ruth Minnikin

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