Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar, are a Hudson Valley-based husband-and- wife duo setting the Americana/Folk scene ablaze, as a duo or with their five-piece band, The Mammals. Singers, songwriters & storytellers, social & environmental activists, poets and parents, they tour with their children in tow, embodying a down-home approach to Americana.
Merenda is a prolific songwriter, who’s recent crowd-pleasing piece, Sunshiner, was nominated for an International Folk Music Award for Song of the Year. It is an ode to renewable energy which simultaneously honours the past and looks to the future with the sing-along lyric, “Yes my Daddy was a miner, but I’m gonna be a sunshiner.” Ungar’s unique vocal style ranges from a capella balladry to earthy soul and country.
She is carrying on her family tradition, being the daughter of legendary fiddler/composer, Jay Ungar, known for his famous composition, ‘Ashokan Farewell’ used as the theme for the Ken Burns landmark documentary, ‘The Civil War’.
Mike & Ruthy concerts blend artistry and authenticity, with fiery fiddle & banjo, emotionally potent harmonies, and dynamic stories that deepen the experience. Tap your toes and sing along as Mike & Ruthy “roam effortlessly through the whole span that is Americana, from alt-country to folk to bluegrass.” – The Bluegrass Situation
“These two will shatter any stereotypical misconceptions of what it means to be a folk musician” – The Coastal Journal