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In the band’s first incarnation The Mammals enjoyed a remarkable 7-year run, playing the largest folk festivals across North America (Telluride Bluegrass, Vancouver Folk Fest, High Sierra), Australia (Woodford, Port Fairy, National) and Denmark (Tonder), Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (with stringband peers Nickel Creek), New York’s Carnegie Hall as the special guest of folk legend Arlo Guthrie, and the 2002 Winter Olympics with Pete Seeger. They landed in the pages of numerous publications lauding their unique “traditional-music-in-combat-boots” including a feature in The New York Times handpicking them as a leader in a pack of new-wave stringbands “updating that old-time sound.” The Washington Post described them as “gleefully aware that the sound barriers separating old-timey music, vintage pop and contemporary folk are as permeable as cotton.”
As mentioned, the two continuing band-founders are Ruth Ungar (a second generation fiddler/singer and daughter of GRAMMY winning composer, Jay Ungar) and Mike Merenda (a multi-instrumental wordsmith regarded as “one of the best songwriters of his generation” -LA weekly). During The Mammals’ nine-year hiatus, in addition to producing the Winter and Summer Hoots, these two kept busy touring with their two young children and recording five Mike + Ruthy albums including The NYC EP (2012) featuring a much celebrated posthumous collaboration with Woody Guthrie called “My New York City” and Bright As You Can (2015) which the Boston Globe hailed as one of the standout Americana records of the year. “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,” praised NPR Music.
You can see more of them on their website: The Mammals