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Ruby Jane Smith
Birth name Ruby Jane Smith
Born November 17, 1994 (1994-11-17) (age 15)[1]
Origin Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Genres Blugrass, Americana music
Instruments Fiddle, vocals
Years active 2005 – Present
Associated acts Willie Nelson, Rhonda Vincent, Ray Benson, Asleep at the Wheel

Ruby Jane Smith (born November 17, 1994) is an American-born fiddle player, singer, and songwriter in the traditional bluegrass and Americana music genres.[2] The youngest fiddler invited to play the Grand Old Opry, Smith has toured and recorded with Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson and Willie Nelson, and has performed on Austin City Limits.[3]

Smith was born in Dallas, Texas, and while still a toddler moved to Clinton, Mississippi, with her mother, from whom she inherited a love for bluegrass music.[4] Grand Old Opry notable Jim Brock began instructing the seven-year old Smith after seeing her perform onstage with Rhonda Vincent (Smith impressed Vincent and Brock with a rendering of "Boil Them Cabbage Down"[5]) and at age 10 she became the youngest invited fiddler to play at the Opry.[6] She also performed in 2003 at the CMA Music Festival.[7] After winning the 2005 Mississippi State Fiddle Championship[6] and garnering several other contest titles, in 2008 Smith and her family moved to Austin, Texas.[8]

Since moving to Austin, she has been mentored by Ray Benson,[9] and she has toured with other artists (including Willie Nelson and Ray Benson[10]) and with her own band, the Ruby Jane Show. She has performed in a Ray Benson play, A Ride with Bob, and played on Willie Nelson’s Grammy-nominated Willie and the Wheel. She has recorded two CDs; her debut album Road to Columbus was released in 2006, and the follow-up 6-song EP Creekside was released in 2007. She won the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin award in 2007, named for Daniel Pearl and given by the foundation named for him, which promotes "Harmony for Humanity."[9][11]


  • Road to Columbus (2006)
  • Creekside (EP, 2007)


  1. ^ "The Ruby Jane Show". Ruby Jane Smith. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  2. ^ "Bluegrass Fiddler Ruby Jane Smith to Perform with Big and Rich". Cybergrass: Bluegrass Music News Network. 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  3. ^ Corcoran, Michael (2008-08-18). "Five alive! Old is new again with these Austin musicians: Belleville Outfit, Ruby Jane, the Dedringers, Dustin Welch and the Fireants putting a fresh spin on tradition". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  4. ^ Lagorio, Christine (2006-04-13). "Little Girl, Big Musical Talent: Meet Ruby Jane Smith, An 11-Year-Old Country Music Prodigy". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  5. ^ Sisson, Carmen K. (2006-11-13). "Backstory: Fiddler on the youth". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  6. ^ a b Swoope, Jan (2009-12-16). "Fine fiddling: Home for the holidays, Ruby Jane Smith talks about an amazing couple of years". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  7. ^ Mizal, Michelle (2003-08-28). "They've Got the Beat". The Virginian-Pilot.  
  8. ^ "Modern Sounds in Old-School Music". Austin American-Statesman: p. T.08. 2008-08-21.  
  9. ^ a b "These days Ruby Jane Smith is often seen fiddling with mentor Ray Benson, but the 13-year-old can also lay claim as the youngest fiddler invited onto the Grand Ole Opry stage. No surprise that her doggedly traditional style won her the Mississippi State Fiddle Champion title in 2005 and made her the 2007 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin recipient." Moser, Margaret (2008-12-24). "Smells Like Teen Spirit: U18 going on 21: Teen acts of tomorrow and tonight". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  10. ^ "Benson has always led a good band and the current edition boasts, among others, steel guitar man Eddie Rivers, pianist John Michael Whitby, clarinetist Jonathan Doyle and 14-year-old phenom Ruby Jane Smith on fiddle." Eck, Michael (2009-02-19). "Willie Nelson, The Wheel at best with new tunes". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  11. ^ PR Newswire (2007-09-04). "Country Bluegrass Winners Carry on the Journalist's Legacy of "Harmony for Humanity"". Press release. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  

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