Mike + Ruthie, with Robert Sarazin Blake
Woodstock, New York's Mike + Ruthy have been harmonizing for the past ten years. Founding members of "post-apocalyptic-stringband" The Mammals, as a duo Mike + Ruthy have refined their sound down to the the very core of acoustic American music, demonstrating an uncommon ability to create songs as lyrically sophisticated as Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen and as harmonically beautiful as Gillian Welch & David Rawlings or Simon & Garfunkel. With an arsenal of fiddle, banjo, guitar, ukulele and their hallmark harmony singing, a Mike + Ruthy concert is overstuffed with soulful songs and stories and a timeless sound that is spellbinding and pure.
As the daughter of fiddle legend, Jay Ungar, and country singer Lyndon Lee Hardy, Ruthy is no stranger to roots music and harmony singing. Despite her innate knowledge of American folk and country music, Ruthy opted to steer clear of the musician's life and in 1997 moved to New York City to pursue a career in the theatre.
It was in New York that Ruthy was introduced to Michael Merenda, an aspiring playwright and songwriter from New Hampshire who himself had just recently arrived in the big apple to test his mettle.
With this meeting Ruthy's interest in music was stoked, with Mike becoming entranced by the deep well of folk music from which Ruthy's talent poured: the duo began collaborating immediately.
A romantic relationship began not long after the musical partnership was sparked and in 2000 the couple resettled just outside of Northampton, MA where they met Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (grandson of the legendary folk singer Pete Seeger) and soon formed the "subversive, acoustic, stringband" The Mammals.
The Mammals toured the world for 7 years including trips to Australia, Denmark, and Canada and even a six month stint opening for and backing up the great Arlo Guthrie during his 40th Anniversary of Alice's Restaurant tour, which culminated at New York's Carnegie Hall.
With the birth of their son, Will, in 2008, Mike + Ruthy, announced a departure from The Mammals to focus on their growing family. During this time the couple rediscovered their joy of playing together as a duo and over the following three years produced three sparkling albums including "The Honeymoon Agenda" (2008), "Waltz of the Chickadee" (2009), and 2010s critically acclaimed "Million to One" all on their own independent record label, Humble Abode Music, based just outside of Woodstock, NY.
::: Praise for Mike + Ruthy :::
"Mike + Ruthy's musicianship bears the mark of veteran brilliance" Chronogram
"Some of the best songwriting of their generation" High Times
"Seemingly descended not just from one famous folkie, but the entire folk tradition itself." Willamette Week
"Breathy, rich Americana . . . a beguiling new album"- Time Out New York
"While many folk-rock and Americana bands simply copy their influences, Mike + Ruthy have succeeded in mixing the new with the old seamlessly . . . Million to One breathes a love and respect for folk music with each track." Performer Magazine
"While still 'roots' music, Mike & Ruthy's Million to One reveals . . . a late '50s and '60s folk-rock style that had such a huge influence on everything that followed" -Vintage Guitar
"Replete with banjo, fiddle and pedal steel, Ungar and Merenda showcase a natural chemistry shifting between catchy pop tunes, bluesy rock numbers, lush soul songs and hushed folk ballads.
"Million to One is a milestone achievement for the New
York-based duo, reflecting remarkably eclectic songwriting." The Wire
"In a perfect world, this mildly Appalachian-tinged pop would be the mainstream of pop radio."
"Gorgeous acoustic music which exceeds a genre such as folk or singer-songwriter. Two perfectly connected musicians who belong to the absolute top." Moors Magazine
"Million to One features upbeat and dreamy folk-pop tunes based in roots music but also owing a debt to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Yo La Tengo." -Berkshire Living
"Like the Rolling Stones on their country side trips" -AllMusic.com
"Great, Gorgeous Mike + Ruthy successfully bring folk music to a new place while holding on to the timeless traditions of the genre, namely, the telling of a story." -Kingston Freeman
"Million to One is overstuffed with timelessly catchy and beautifully melodic pearls" Chronogram
"One rockin', blissful voice. A musical duo not to be missed!" The Valley Voice
"An infectious new folk rock album." -Boston Globe
Joining Mike + Ruthy at the studio will be Robert Sarazin Blake, as he celebrates his new album, A Long Series of Memorable Nights Forgotten: The Belfast Sessions.
Empty Sea Studios
6300 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|