Media Kit


BRIGHT AS YOU CAN Makes Best of 2015 at NPR and No Depression

Besides Ruth Ungar's amazing voice, the lyrics on this album are incredibly thoughtful — they're carefully crafted, without a word or phrase out of place. From rollicking good times to more tender reflections, Bright As You Can is a winner. (Elena See)

Besides Ruth Ungar's amazing voice, the lyrics on this album are incredibly thoughtful — they're carefully crafted, without a word or phrase out of place. From rollicking good times to more tender reflections, Bright As You Can is a winner. (Elena See)

the album that monopolized my speakers this year was from the Mike + Ruthy Band. Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar are perhaps better known to ND fans as the husband-and-wife duo who was a cornerstone of the Mammals. That classic folk band dominated the scene back 10 years or so ago, with their politically charged, old-time-infused raw and raucous folk music. For this new album, "Bright As You Can," they reunited most of the Mammals (sans Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, who's got his own thing going in New Orleans). The disc feels like home, like a bunch of players who know each other so well, they don't even have to think about it. Themes of family and reckoning prevail, woven through music that is as celebratory as it is contemplative. Because I have a two-year-old who dances hard to this music, I've listened to it almost every day, all year long, and it's never gotten stale or predictable. - Kim Ruehl, Editor

the album that monopolized my speakers this year was from the Mike + Ruthy Band. Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar are perhaps better known to ND fans as the husband-and-wife duo who was a cornerstone of the Mammals. That classic folk band dominated the scene back 10 years or so ago, with their politically charged, old-time-infused raw and raucous folk music. For this new album, "Bright As You Can," they reunited most of the Mammals (sans Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, who's got his own thing going in New Orleans). The disc feels like home, like a bunch of players who know each other so well, they don't even have to think about it. Themes of family and reckoning prevail, woven through music that is as celebratory as it is contemplative. Because I have a two-year-old who dances hard to this music, I've listened to it almost every day, all year long, and it's never gotten stale or predictable. - Kim Ruehl, Editor


* Praise for  Bright As You Can * 

“'One of the year’s standout Americana albums."

Boston Globe

"In the vanguard of today’s vibrant folk revival."

- Pop Matters

"The 14-song collection spans folk, bluegrass, vintage country and just about everything else that falls under the catch-all heading of 'Americana.'” 

- Wall Street Journal 

"Everything is masterfully performed as Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar sing about the charms of hard work, homemade wine and free parking. Amid the barn dance reverie created by fiddle, pedal steel, horns and more, Ruthy's versatile alto is the most glorious instrument of all."

- ABCnews

"The Woodstock, New York, couple's broad, colorful palette of Americana is timeless. Their musical melting pot combines country twang, Cajun chug, R&B swing and gospel fervor."
-Associated Press

“This is a record about what it is to be human. It's a record about what it is to have an inextricable allegiance to tradition, while feeling compelled to speak for oneself. It's a record that will grab you, that won't let you go.”
-No Depression

"It’s that ability to go beyond the boundaries that allow The Mike + Ruthy Band to temper their folk finesse and do so with such skill, they’re actually able to set themselves apart." 

- Elmore Magazine

"Cigarette gently faces the horrors of the world, praying that a good song will offer some kind of salvation.  These uplifting songs do."

Relix

“Bright As You Can seems to be honoring the great musical traditions of the past while at the same time welcoming, with open arms, the future of what music can be.”

- Folk Alley

"True musicianship is alive and well."

- Performer Magazine (feature)








Photo Credit Bob Smyth (click for hi-res file.)


Photo credit Christopher Gilner (click for hi-res files.)


Photo credit Thomas Schnaidt (click for hi-res file.)


Photo credit Eric Gerard (click for hi-res file.)



 

    In 2016 Hudson Valley based songwriters Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar (aka Mike + Ruthy) enjoyed a high-water mark year buoyed by critical acclaim for their June release, Bright As You Can (Thirty Tigers) and a commitment to touring once again as a crack five-piece ensemble - reintroducing a high-energy folk rock sound that they helped define in the early 2000’s as “Trad is Rad” trailblazers, The Mammals.

      Mike + Ruthy are “musicians’ musicians” who have found fans and friends in the Americana world and beyond. As word of their well-loved record spread, the band quickly found themselves sharing bills with industry luminaries as diverse as The Avett Brothers, Milk Carton Kids, Elephant Revival, Ani DiFranco and The B-52s setting the stage for a tremendous 2016 which includes invitations to 12 major music festivals across the US and and Europe.


For more information on the The Mike + Ruthy Band and interview requests, please contact Mike Merenda at Humble Abode Music. 845 594 8829 / mikeandruthy@gmail.com


###


Ungar and Merenda met in New York City, and a musical and romantic relationship sprouted quickly. He's a songwriting guitar-slinger with a knack for clawhammer banjo. She's a fiddler and uke-chanteuse who grew up in the American roots underground, the daughter of GRAMMY- winning fiddler, Jay Ungar. These two believe in the transformative power of a great live show. They write top-tier songs ("Some of the best songwriting of their generation" (LA Weekly), tour with their kids and peerless five-piece band (a sound they’ve taken to calling rural rock), and perform for audiences worldwide with a charm and on-stage ease that might make you think they’re your new best friends. Of their own roots music festival the two founded in 2013, their late friend and mentor Pete Seeger wrote, “Dear Mike + Ruthy, Your Hoot was one of the best song-gatherings I’ve seen in all my 94 years. I hope next year I can be there for more than one day.”


Woody Guthrie's guitar killed fascists. This family carries the torch.


###


Bright As You Can was awarded Best of 2015 by NPR Music and No Depression and received these rave reviews:


“‘Bright as You Can,' crackles with a live energy and warmth that draw you close. It’s a joyful document of a band rounding a corner and into a wide-open field of possibilities. And it’s one of the year’s standout Americana albums.”
 -Boston Globe


“In the vanguard of todays’s vibrant folk revival.”
-PopMatters


“From rollicking good times to more tender reflections, Bright As You Can is a winner.” -
-NPR Music


"The Woodstock, New York couple's broad, colorful palette of Americana is timeless. Their musical melting pot combines country twang, Cajun chug, R&B swing and gospel fervor . . . masterfully performed.”
-Associated Press
 

"The 14-song collection spans folk, bluegrass, vintage country and just about everything else that falls under the catch-all heading of 'Americana.'”
-Wall Street Journal


“This is a record about what it is to be human. It's a record about what it is to have an inextricable allegiance to tradition, while feeling compelled to speak for oneself. It's a record that will grab you, that won't let you go.”
-No Depression


“On their upcoming Bright As You Can LP, the duo rumbles and tumbles their way through 14 finely crafted tunes that roam effortlessly through the whole span that is Americana, from alt-country to folk to bluegrass. There's even an echo or two of R&B going on in the set.”
-The Bluegrass Situation


“Bright As You Can seems to be honoring the great musical traditions of the past while at the same time welcoming, with open arms, the future of what music can be.”
-Folk Alley


http://www.mikeandruthy.com