Creating songs for her debut CD "Hope On" has kept Ruth Elaine's hope alive over the past decade. The title track "Hope On" came to her one winter night in 1998 and serves as a vital reminder that a song has the power to seduce us away from sadness. Laying down fourteen tracks with skilled musicians for the past 2.5 years has been great collaborative fun! CD Highlights include the distinctive tones of accomplished flautist Sally Heinz sweetening seven tracks and soaring in triple harmonies at the end of the opening song "Moon Rising." The Rhythm Pups lend their instrumental and vocal artistry to the title track "Hope On." Dan Rumsey delivers a foot-tapping bluesy keyboard rendition of "Stuck In Worry." Ruth Elaine waxes philosophical in "Moon Rising" and "Grace." Ruth Elaine's signature birthday song is "Road Signs" and she is the solo artist on the lonely ballad "Woeful Willow Weeping." Her rousing song of activism "We'll Never Get There if We Don't Start Now" is looking for a campaign to ignite! "Standing Behind Me Again" paints the picture of growing up in a large family with a verse written for EVERY family member and harmonies added by singer-songwriter Wayne Hamilton. Ruth Elaine received a classical guitar for her 16th birthday. It was a natural step to take to make up melodies to the poems she had been writing from an early age. Singing and writing songs became her lifeline to sanity and serenity over the years. Accompanied by her classically trained brother Steve on the piano, Ruth Elaine performed her original song, "Monticello, Pittsburgh of the Prairie" for her hometown's sesquicentennial celebration in 1986. She has been singing a verbal scrapbook of her life in coffeehouses in the Twin Cities (Riverview Cafe & Gingkos) since 1999. In December of 2004 at Patrick's Cabaret, Ruth Elaine performed original love songs and poems while surrounded by paintings created by her partner Timothy Hasenstein. This production titled "Reaching for the Mystery of Forever" illustrated how two artists in love influence each other's work. One of the paintings by this visual artist/educator graces the CD cover. Ruth Elaine performed in 2001 on the oncology floor at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis at the time her mother was dying of lung and brain cancer in IA. She sang to patients during the week and drove home on weekends. A cancer patient, preparing for what turned out to be a five hour surgery, reported that listening to Ruth Elaine's insightful and inspiring songs before going into surgery helped her immensely. Positive reactions of patients and caregivers have had a profound effect on the type of audience Ruth Elaine is passionate about playing for. She is currently a volunteer at Hennepin County Medical Center in the "Inspire Arts" program through the Service League Office. She sings original and cover songs with guitar accompaniment in the ICU waiting room.