There’s no ambiguity when it comes to figuring out who and what they are. They’re straight-ahead acoustic charm wrapped up in passionate and ample fiddle lines and earnest songwriting.
The quartet, —Andrew Ruddy, Monique Ritter, Ryan Burdick and Blake Propst— brings innocent, heartfelt, chugging bluegrass that might remind fans of a much (much) tamer version of the Binghamton band Driftwood. While Driftwood uses powerful dynamics to prove their points, Ruddy Well errs on the side of consistency, delivering a CD that sounds professional (recorded at SubCat Studios) but remains fairly steady on the dynamic line. Energy hits highest in the appropriately titled “High” and mellows sweetly in the closing lullaby, “Goodnight Anna,” but the band never hits overwhelming peaks or valleys.
Still, the group, led by the songwriting of Ruddy, brings all the beauty of classic bluegrass to modern tunes: chucking violin (when the bow hits the strings sharply, cutting off the sound, often on upbeats), full harmonies and sweet lyrics about “lips that taste like wine” (“Just Give Me Time”) and “I’ll cook you eggs if you wake by my side” (“I’m All Good”). The skilled vocals are refreshing and the musical work is clean, leaving a polished product in the case. With a clear identity and a crisp sound, this band is on the right course. For more information, visit ruddywellband.com.
Rained-out from playing in the garden - but we instead played in George Eastman’s foyer. Pretty amazing…
Their sound and style taps into a host of influences, from The Byrds circa “Sweethearts Of The Rodeo” and Sylvia and Ian Tyson’s Great Speckled Bird, right through to contemporary string bands like the Old Crow Medicine Show. The opening track “Roadside Flowers” begins with a chuckle and that joy continues right through the track, a vibrant folk-rock floor-filler with superb vocals and a catchy, infectious chorus. It’s followed by “Just Give Me Time”, and it’s a veritable hoedown, the sort of high-energy approach that’s made folk music an essential part of the festival experience, and “I’m All Good” cranks up the rockin’ country quota to fine effect.
So far, so good, and the icing on their musical cake is the ease in which they relax the pace and dip into syrup-free balladry. The combination of lush strings and snagged vocals makes “One Day At a Time” a highlight, and “Dawn On Our Doorstep” contains a wealth of tight harmony singing.
Had an awesome night at Shifty’s! As Steve would say, “It was a great turnout with a good lookin’ crowd”.
Playing at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market this Saturday from 12-2pm. Looking forward to all of the delicious foods and artisan goods just as much as we’re looking forward to playing. See you there!
Check out our video for “Roadside Flowers” from our new album Change of Course.
Here’s our new video for our song “Just Give Me TIme”. Check it out!