Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present their sixth socially distanced, outdoor concert with roots, old time and Americana quintet The Mammals (featuring Mike + Ruthy), plus Billy Wylder (solo), on Saturday, October 3 at 3:30 pm at Cooper Field in Putney, VT. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating in distanced pods on the ballfield, and face masks to wear whenever you leave your pod. Rain date for the concert is Sunday, October 4.
The Mammals are a warm-blooded party band with a conscience, led by songwriting multi-instrumentalists Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar, with dynamic drummer Konrad Meissner and Will Bryant and Brandon Morrison of The Restless Age. Their live concerts are healing and inspirational. It’s not just the magic of their combined voices – Ruth’s remarkably soulful grace and Mike’s hushed and intimate ease – it’s also the lyrics themselves that strike deep, sparking unexpected smiles and full-room sing-alongs.
The title track of The Mammals’ 2018 album “Sunshiner” was nominated for Folk Alliance International’s Song of the Year. Their 2020 album “Nonet” is brimming with The Mammals’ unmistakable hope and authenticity. Like a shimmering wall of sound, with sparkling piano and banjo, pulsing double-drums and soaring fiddle and organ, their courageous dynamics will draw you in, lift your spirits and renew your heart.
Woodstock, NY-based Ruth Ungar and Mike Merenda founded The Mammals with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (grandson of the legendary folk singer Pete Seeger) in 2000, and after touring the world for the next seven years with the likes of Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, emerged as one of acoustic America’s most revered musical duos – Mike + Ruthy. The daughter of fiddle legend Jay Ungar and country singer Lyn Hardy, Ruthy is an earthy country-blues singer with the unmistakable stage presence of a natural-born performer. Mike is an artfully prolific songwriter with an indie rock soul and feather-touch vocals. Their stringband of subversive acoustic traditionalists features a mix of Americana hoedowns, sassy blues, Motown soul, old-timey harmonies, rock-n-roll energy and inspired, topical songwriting.
“A string band at the core, The Mammals augment their sound with drums and electric guitar to create a collectively harmonized howl as thrilling and rocking as any band currently subverting folk traditions” – No Depression
“The Mammals tell stories that are at once topical and timeless, bearing a message of hope and empowerment with a modern string-band sound.” – FreshGrass Festival
“The Mammals are solid-gold-hearted and their music is too.” – Anais Mitchell
Billy Wylder’s music weaves together American folk and rock with sensibilities from the Sahara Desert, with Mother Earth is at its center, surrounded by stories of love, conflict, change and dreams. The band has toured extensively, performing and collaborating with artists such as Jack Johnson, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bombino, The Low Anthem and Pete Seeger. Prior to forming Billy Wylder, singer/songwriter/guitarist Avi Salloway performed with Bombino, Hey Mama and Avi & Celia.
Cooper Field is located on Sand Hill Road in Putney, VT. Tickets are $20 (Infield) and $15 (Outfield) Advance / $20 At the Door, and kids 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are available online at nextstagearts.org. The concert is sponsored in part by the Putney Community Center, Rolling Home and Greenberg Associates Architects, with special thanks to Patrick Noyes. For more information, visit themammals.love and nextstagearts.org or call 802-387-0102.