Exposé Online banner

Rutherford — Mapping out Chaos
((Not on label) RR001, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

Mapping out Chaos Cover art

With a constant stream of me-too independently produced new releases coming in, all demanding time to be heard and reviewed, it is indeed refreshing when one among them has something genuinely different or unique to offer the listener. The debut album by this Missouri-based quintet is such a case, capably fronted by two excellent singer-songwriters (Ruth Acuff and Jeff Mueller, both doubling on guitar and bass) operating in a roots-rock mode, fusing elements of folk, pop, and rock, with plenty of originality, hooks and riffs. Sometimes the foundation of a piece is acoustic guitar, other times a bit heavier rock drive, although it’s evident via the compositions, lyrics, singing, and harmonies, and overall presentation, that the genesis of each of the twelve cuts is the singular vision of a songwriter, with the group arrangements built around that initial concept. Acuff’s voice is very distinctive and suits her material perfectly, perhaps a bit like Buffy Sainte-Marie without all the excessive vibrato; Mueller’s voice is commanding and soulful on the three tracks where he sings lead, though on most tracks he’s harmonizing with Acuff. But it’s trumpeter Ed Watson who gives the arrangements their most unusual element; his instrument is the lead melodic foil, offering something to complement the vocals without drawing attention from them, as well as turning in a deft solo here and there. Everything here works together superbly – an outstanding debut.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Rutherford

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Décamps et Fils - Murmures... – Whatever Ange may have been through in the years since their progressive heyday in the 70s, it is clear from this release that lead singer Christian Décamps has found a way to translate this artistic...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues