“A Record That Will Grab You, That Won’t Let You Go”: No Depression Talks New Mike + Ruthy Band Album, Premieres New Track

Due out June 2nd on Humble Abode Music/Thirty Tigers, the new Mike + Ruthy Band album Bright As You Can is already winning early raves. No Depression’s Kim Ruehl calls it “an album that has become a strong personal favorite for its synergy of old time and new folk energy and its horn section that's as capable of subtleties as it is of booming fanfare. But more than anything, Bright as You Can is just flat-out lousy with great songwriting.…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 onesself. It's a record that will grab you, that won't let you go. “

No Depression also premiered album standout “What Are We Waiting For” today, “a feat of a song, in its lyricism as well as its performance, not to mention the technical aspects of recording. But it's also just a downright fun tune that'll make you want to hop in the car and drive all day, to wherever the road will take you.”

Listen to “What Are We Waiting For” and read Ruehl’s full album review here.

The Bluegrass Situation recently said "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."

Anais Mitchell says "Mike + Ruthy are a national treasure," and Folk Alley calls them "one of acoustic America's most revered musical duos." 

The beloved duo have re-emerged with an ace ensemble for Bright As You Can. Surrounded by friends (Amy Helm & Marco Benevento are neighbors) and family (dad is GRAMMY-winner Jay Ungar), Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar are forging their own take on Americana, not just musically, but in their non-traditional approach to family life and parenthood which has informed the songwriting and emotional range of the album. Bright As You Can is in many ways a heartfelt musical expression of Mike + Ruthy’s life and adventures together (including the Hoot festival they started in their Hudson Valley home, their Woodstock, NY musical community, and touring with two young kids in tow). The music is high-octane, and reminiscent of their full-band work with The Mammals. It’s Americana rock n roll, but instead of a stack of Marshall amps and a case of beer in the back of the van, there’s a drum set, a fiddle and a stroller.  

The Mike + Ruthy Band tour incessantly (with Mike + Ruthy's children in tow), and this year will be no different. In addition to their own dates, they will join the likes of The Black Keys, Robert Plant and Alabama Shakes at Mountain Jam, and they’ll be part of a line-up that includes Neko Case, Ani DiFranco and The Lone Bellow at the Clearwater Festival. More dates are being confirmed, find a full list here.