Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Rue Snider combines 80s alt sonics with a lyrical style reminiscent of 60s rock revolutionaries. His sound and ideals are both a reflection of and a reaction to growing up during the 1980s in a small town.
The tone of his hometown and it’s conservative foundation spawned Rue’s progressive values and belief in social justice. His home filled with records by Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, and Air Supply, and his elementary school music teacher father propelled his love for music and interest in performance. Investments were made in lessons on piano, cello, trumpet, and eventually voice, which were met with the same embrace any free spirited young person attaches to something they are forced to do.
Rue’s passion for movies and friendships with a community of filmmakers in Pittsburgh led to directing five short films. Those skills would later become invaluable when music videos needed to be made and there wasn’t any budget for a crew. To date he’s released six music videos, five of which he directed.
His love affair with New York City that began in the late 90s reached its apex when he left Pennsylvania and moved to Manhattan in 2005. He spent six years lost in the lights of New York and a substantial amount of bourbon before recording his first EP at the tail end of 2011.
That EP Losing Her was released in March of 2012. It was followed by a year of relationship building with musicians and songwriters at NYC open mics like The Path Cafe, Vagabond Cafe, and Cafe Vivaldi. He played shows and learned by doing. The next year he ventured out of New York for the first time playing for small audiences on the road, building the show and fan base slowly. Touring gradually increased to 100+ shows a year. He followed up “Losing Her” in 2015 with the album Leaving To Returning and the EPs Never Met a Girl I Didn’t Love and The New New Colossus.
2015 also brought the beginning of sobriety after two decades of hard living and alcohol abuse. That journey was the subject of the 2016 record, Broken Window. Rue released the EP Speak My Mind in 2017 in response to the early days of the Trump presidency and America’s increasing racial unrest. The title track to that collection is a lament for his hometown and “the hypocrisy of religious people who rewarded a racist and misogynist with the White House.”
His new album City Living is a loose chronicle of his move to Manhattan in the mid aughts and an examination of the thoughts and choices that occur while living in transition: geographically, emotionally, spiritually, politically, and socially. City Living is upbeat musically with lyrics that reflect real human experiences, from falling in love with Coney Island, to wandering Brooklyn heartbroken, to standing up to injustice.
"New York is the central character in the story of my life,” says Rue. "It’s my longest relationship. It’s real love and heartbreak rolled into one. It’s the ex lover who sticks around after the pain stops. It’s the seasons that change no matter what. It’s poetry personified. It’s incapable of dishonesty.”
City Living was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Langhorne Slim, Hurray for the Riff Raff) and released on July 27, 2018.
Rue has shared the stage with Lydia Loveless, Gaelynn Lea, Tom Maxwell (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Superhuman Happiness (Stuart Bogie - Antibalas, Arcade Fire), Benjamin Scheuer (The Lion), Blue Healer, Donna Missal, and Walter Salas-Humara (the Silos).