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Mike + Ruthy are one of the more unique bands I’ve come across while doing album reviews, especially the fact that they are a genuine folk band which is hard to find nowadays. They travel thousands of miles, cover classic folk songs, tell stories through their music, and hold the genuine folk music sound. Ruth Ungar and Mike Merenda together are genuine when it comes to music. The release of The NYC EP happened as a result from the Woody Guthrie Archive inviting the duo to cover a track in honor of Guthrie’s 100th birthday, and the music continued to flow from there.
The NYC EP is a seven track folk brainstorm. It all kicks off with Mike + Ruthy’s rendition of Woodie Guthrie’s “My New York City”. This is a slower tempo track but embodies the wholesomeness of folk, with a light guitar strum and occasional banjo, while Mike and Ruthy do their best to harmonize. It becomes a very nice track.
After, it open’s the gate for Mike and Ruthy to do their thing and play what they want and have fun with their music. The second track is simply a banjo and bass guitar solo opening up for the track “On My Way Home”, a nice up-tempo traveling song. Mike + Ruthy have a good thing going on this track.
They mix it up by throwing a seductive folk song with “Romance In The Dark” and they manage to pull it off. A vintage blues song with “Oh Mama” that sounds original. They complete the EP with “Raise Your Glasses High” which I think is my favorite track because it simply wraps up the EP. It embodies the fun they have making the music, and celebrates a job well done with The NYC EP.
The duo has been married for six years and tour with their two small children. There is wholesomeness in their music, and they share it with their fans as one big family.
From a critic perspective however, I may love them, but the demand for folk music certainly declined. There is modern folk in indie music that’s on the rise, but even some of those fans could be hesitant to listen to a genuine folk band such as Mike + Ruthy. I say give them a listen. Either way, it’s refreshing to see that genuine folk music is still alive.
Mike + Ruthy – “My New York City”: