What: Amber Rubarth

When: 5:30 p.m. June 6 (includes dinner)

Where: Highland House Concerts, Tumalo (call for information and reservations)

Cost: $20

Contact: musicmag@yahoo.com or 541-306-0797

A mber Rubarth doesn’t like to limit herself to just one creative outlet.

Last year, the California-born, Nashville-based folk singer and songwriter starred in her first movie, “American Folk,” alongside fellow folksinger Joe Purdy, with whom she had previously collaborated. The film followed her 2017 studio album, “Wildflowers in the Graveyard,” a subdued, thoughtful set of songs exploring nature’s life-and-death cycle inspired, in part, by a car accident about six years ago that left Rubarth with a severe concussion.

This year is shaping up to be equally busy. Rubarth’s West Coast tour, which includes her house concert at Highland House Concerts in Tumalo on June 6, was built around the debut of her first musical, “The Paper Raincoat,” in San Francisco this weekend. She also has new songs to perform on tour as she works toward a follow-up to “Wildflowers in the Graveyard” that she expects will be released early next year.

“I don’t know if I’m just distracted easily, or what,” Rubarth said from her home in Nashville shortly before the tour’s start. “I’ve definitely had managers in the past tell me that I should focus on one thing. But I actually got to meet T Bone Burnett the other day, and I had a conversation with him … and he was the first person that was like, ‘You know what? I’ve always done different, various things, and I see how they all support each other and how they all feed into each other.’ I think for me that was actually really amazing to hear the confirmation that you can do film stuff and you can do music and you can do stories and you can do all these things.”

A two-time veteran of the Sisters Folk Festival and its songwriting camp, the Americana Song Academy, Rubarth first played Bend in 2012 when she opened for Emmylou Harris at the Athletic Club. She’s looking forward to her Highland House Concert debut, which will be the fourth show hosted at the Tumalo spot this year by musicians and housemates Maggie Jackson and Scott Fox. (Reservations are required, and space is limited to about 70 people, Jackson said.)

“Doing the ‘American Folk’ movie, really one of the main things in it is how music can really bring people together and create true bonds with strangers in a room,” Rubarth said of her experience playing house shows (she has at least three others on her schedule amidst more traditional concerts and festival dates). “That’s one of the things that just on a personal level has been interesting me a lot, is just how vulnerable you can be with people in a small space and how it becomes a little bit more of a dialog than a concert can (be).”

Jackson, who has hosted house concerts for about a decade at two locations in Tumalo, echoed that sentiment.

“The whole thing for me is just about connecting people, not just with performers but with each other,” Jackson said. “When I moved to town, my adopted family was the local bluegrass folks, who have continued to be just wonderful people in my life. The whole connection to playing music and listening to music is just such a positive thing.”

Rubarth said fans can expect some new songs, although she said she is still trying to relearn the material from “The Paper Raincoat.” The musical has its roots in a duo of the same name that Rubarth played in with songwriter Alex Wong in 2009. Wong and Rubarth teamed with Devon Copely to write the musical, which tells the story of a woman named Grace who creates a fictional world after her father dies.

“She starts writing a book that blurs the line between reality and her imagination,” Rubarth said. “It’s about how when we repress things, how then they have more energy, and how trauma releases different things.”

Rubarth got a late start in music, picking up guitar at 21 after spending four years studying to be a chain-saw sculptor in Nevada. However, she did grow up playing piano, and said her extreme shyness led her to turn to music as a safe place to express herself. When she picked up guitar, she found another outlet in songwriting and lyrics.

“Instead of just saying what you know, it feels like in some way, the music helps pull out what you want to learn,” she said. “I always feel like when I start a song, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say, and the song helps me figure out what I want to say. (Songwriting has) always felt like a really healthy space for processing things — and not just healthy, but enjoyable.”

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