Who gave you the nickname “Wicked Wit of the West” and what does it mean?
My friend Steve Brooks, who is a wonderful writer and songwriter, gave me that nickname several years back. We’ve written a few songs together, including “Let the Men Buy the Beer” and “Snot-Nosed Rag.” I think he meant it kindly, but essentially it means I’m a smart-alecky tart.
How did you select the songs for the Wildflower contest and are they based on any memories or experiences?
“Freaked Out Teenaged Tadpoles” came to me in one big leap when I saw my son running out of his middle school with several friends. They were running around, bumping into each other and jumping all over the place. It brought up memories of wading in a creek behind my house as a kid, and having swarms of “almost frogs” come hopping down the creek in the same way. Since the creek is in the Richardson area, the song seemed to fit the contest. “We’re Like this on Facebook” sums up a lot of the friendships I’ve found online. Some of them are more “real” than others.
What does it mean to be selected as a finalist?
I am thrilled and honored to be included as a finalist in Wildflower. I grew up in North Dallas, went to Richardson schools, and I love the area. I’ve been excited to see how the festival has grown in size and scope. I love that Wildflower continues to promote and support songwriters and musicians of all genres.
Do you have any pre-show superstitious habits, calming techniques, or plain old good luck charms?
I like to imagine the audience wearing Groucho Marx masks. And I do vocal warmups that sound like drunk pigeons.
How would you describe your songwriting style?
Sporadic yet persistent. Meaning I write a bit every day, and fiddle with tunes all the time, and every now and then it comes together in a song that works for me.
Where is the best place to experience songwriting utopia?
On long road trips, especially if you can pull off and jot down lyrics and melodies as they come while overlooking a scenic rest stop.
Do you have a favorite quote, lyric, or credo that you live by?
Right now I am haunted by “Theme For the Eulipions” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. It’s just a very comforting tune for uncertain times.
Have you performed in Finland and Germany for Xena fans?
Nope, but people have bought the MP3 of that tune in strangely high numbers there. I figured I might have to get over there and play a gig one day and see what happens.
Are you a member of Hootchcakes Band and The Studebakers (are there more to list)?
Yes, I’m a member of The Hootchcakes and The Studebakers. I also play with my own group, Marilyn Rucker and Friends, and I’m on an “out patient” basis with The Therapy Sisters. I’ve also played with Mr. Fabulous and Casino Royale, Original Recipe Band, The Big Band Sound of Austin, Maryann Price, Mary Reynolds and really anyone who asks.
Make plans to see Marilyn Rucker compete on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. on the UnitedHealthcare Singer Songwriter Stage located inside the Eisemann Center at the 25th Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival. Marilyn is also scheduled to perform on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on the CityLine Stage.
Additional details about the Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest, and the complete list of Top 10 Finalists is available on the Wildflower! website: http://www.wildflowerfestival.com/songwriter-contest-workshop/.