Rubi Ate the Fig

Sharon Eliashar

Sharon Eliashar carries the desert with her. On stage with her band Rubi Ate the Fig, she sings about suffering and love and a friend who dealt with addiction, but also about experiences in the arid Sinai Peninsula that she can only describe as mystical. It’s a heady mix musically as well as lyrically. Rubi’s sound can be described as jazz-rock fusion with a heavy Middle Eastern vibe and vocals that can recall Grace Slick in her prime. “She’s my archetype hero, in the sense that I resonate with her the most as a singer, in her approach to the song,” Eliashar said of Slick. “I feel like I’m her granddaughter or her daughter or the next generation. I just adore her.” The groundbreaking 1970s fusion bands Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report were also huge influences, as was The Police, she said.

Rubi Ate the Fig performs at the Scottish Rite Center on Friday, Sept. 9.It’s a CD-release celebration for the group’s Live album, which was recorded in concert at The Lodge. The gig is the last stop on a short tour that includes Denver, Boulder, and Salida, Colorado.

Eliashar performs with a six-member band. Electric guitarist Mark Mann has played with Oingo Boingo and Electric Light Orchestra, and he played George Harrison’s part on several songs in the Concert for George, a 2002 Royal Albert Hall gig that marked the first anniversary of the death of the former Beatle. Rubi’s Middle Eastern quality is solidly stated by Polly Tapia Ferber on doumbek (hand drum); Souren Baronian on duduk (a double-reed instrument of apricot wood), clarinet, kaval (wood flute), and riqq (Middle Eastern tambourine); and Adam Good on oud. Dynamic rhythms are provided by drummer Danny Montgomery and electric bassist Kenny Blye. On at least one song, the band will be joined by dancer Travis Jarrell.