Ruddy Well Band – Change Of Course (Independent)
Syracuse quartet the Ruddy Well Band are Andrew Ruddy on vocals, guitar, banjo and harmonica, Monique Ritter on vocals and violin, Ryan Burdick who also sings and plays guitar, harmonica and percussion, and their most recent addition, Blake Propst on upright bass. The original trio has been together since 2008, performing regularly and honing their songwriting skills and the results of their hard work can be heard throughout their sophomore collection “Change Of Course” (their debut “Little Blue Marble” was released in 2011).
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.