A Breath of Fresh Air…Ruth Harper

November 27, 2019


Last night at The Peoples Room the music was so uplifting for me and for anyone else in earshot of her voice.

She started her show off with a perfect song for a young girl to sing…it is appropriately named “Introducing Me” by Nick Jonas.

This song expresses raw unfiltered thoughts that might go through the head of a teenager. Here’s a line or two:  

“I eat cheese, but only on pizza please”

“And sometimes on a homemade quesadilla”

 “Otherwise it smells like feet to me.”


I also enjoyed the song “What Do I Know” by Ed Sheeran. The 3rd verse says…

“We could change this whole world with a piano

Add a bass, some guitar, grab a beat and away we go

“Im just a girl with a two man show” 

(Ruth improvised a little here the original said “A boy with a one man show”)…. Her two man band last night consisted of her father, Ben Harper and her uncle Steve Harper….I have never seen prouder guys as they back up this amazing young singer.


If my count was right she sang 17 songs last night and I loved every single one of them. Ruth plays the ukulele and she picked it up first to play one of my favorite songs Elvis used to sing, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”


My most loved song by Cindy Lauper is “Time after Time” and when Ruth sang it I felt like I was in music heaven.


Ruth’s Uncle Andy was not present, I think he lives in California. She sang an original written by Andy, called “Malibu”…I don’t know if he has released it or if its available, but if you find it, you will love it. 


As I sat there enjoying this very talented young lady it made me feel so good about our future. Ruth Harper stood there comfortable in her own skin and sang like a seasoned professional. She actually is, having sung at Carnegie Hall and in the Governor’s Mansion, she can claim that title of professional, even as a teenager. A person that confident will be unstoppable. For her, even the sky is no limit. Self confidence in such a young girl is a super power. 


Some of the music she selected to play meant so much to her and I could feel it. I could see the tears well up and I could feel my own tears ready to run a race down my face. This is what music should do….it should touch your soul and make you FEEL life …happy and sad, the emotions should come and for me they sure did last night.


She told the story of her fathers life-threatening illness about 7 years ago. She has a very close bond with him …certainly she is her daddy’s little girl, so this time of her life had to be quite devastating. Ben was quick to point out he is fine now. 

As Ben faced chemo treatments he wanted to fill his head with special music to listen to…so he asked his family members to pick a song with a message for him and he added  each one to his play list. Ruth picked hers quickly…he asked are you sure…she stuck to her choice…when she played it last night I think everyone had wet eyes but I can only speak for myself. Her song choice was “Run to You" by Whitney Houston.   It says, “I wanna  run to you, I wanna run to you, won’t you hold me in your arms and keep me safe from harm?”

As she sang those words I pictured a young girl (she was 9 years old at the time and her father was fighting a life threatening illness)…I pictured her wanting to run to him…to somehow protect him as he protects her…..it was a tear jerking time for me as I watched them on the stage performing that song.


Her final song was “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift.  It is an emotion most parents have at one point or another…we want to keep them little, keep them innocent and selfishly we want to keep them with us. She did a beautiful job on this song…better than Taylor.


It is so important for young people to believe in themselves because sometimes the world can be cruel. Ruth has grown up in a loving, nurturing family of fabulous musicians with huge hearts…she has absorbed all of their teachings and is ready to head to college.

Thanks to this love that surrounds her, she believes in herself…that is a recipe for magic..

I believe she will be UNSTOPPABLE….


Thank you Ruth Harper for sharing your glowing confidence and talent

Thank you to the Harper family for supporting her music and lifting her up

Thank you Ben and Steve Harper for your beautiful music last night

Thank you Jim Pennington for providing a place for magic to happen

Juanita Smith

Music Mom



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