“…veritable folk music legends in Michigan, captivating audiences with their songs, their harmonies and their folk-infused charm.” John Sinkevics, The Grand Rapids Press
Short Bio: This year, 2016, Ruth and Max celebrate 40 years of performing their style of Acoustic Americana, with roots in Folk, Bluegrass, and traditional Country music. Ruth is well known for her songwriting as well as her striking alto voice. She was a winner of Merlefest’s Chris Austin Song Writing competition in 2003 with her gospel number, By The River. The pair's 2010 CD release, Turn Back a Page reached No. 5 on the Folk DJ Airplay Chart with 4 songs in the top 100 for that year. A Youtube video featuring Michigan Girl, a track from that CD, has been viewed over 350,000 times. The pair has toured in southern France nearly every year since 2008. A live CD was released in 2012 and a Christmas EP in 2015. A new release is in the works for 2016.
The Longer Story:
A Passion For Music for Over 40 Years
Ruth and Max Bloomquist have been making music together since they met in 1975 and discovered their shared love not only for each other, but for music and songs made with acoustic instruments and featuring lyrics from the heart. Ruth and Max immersed themselves in folk, bluegrass, country, singer songwriters, and other acoustic music to create a sound and style all their own.
Award Winning Songwriter
From the beginning, Ruth was inspired to write songs from her own heart and experience. In 1997 Ruth and Max released Ruth’s first CD, Jewel Of My Heart, a collection of original songs that were popular with their audiences. Two more “solo” CDs followed to rave reviews. Meanwhile, in 2003, Ruth was a winner of Merlefest’s Chris Austin Song Writing Competition with her joyful Gospel song, By The River. Ruth’s songs have also been recognized by the South Florida Folk Festival, the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, the Lake Superior Big Top Chautaqua, and Mike Pinder’s Songwars. Ruth has lead songwritng workshops at the Wheatland Music Festival and the WMO Spring Traditional Arts Weekend, has showcased her songs at the IBMA World of Bluegrass, and has assisted Bluegrass Songwriter Committee head Louisa Branscomb in bluegrass songwriter song circles. Ruth's signature song, Michigan Girl, has garnered over 350,000 YouTube views. Their 2010 Release, Turn Back A Page, shot to number 5 on the Folk DJ Airplay Chart upon its release with several tracks remaining in the Top 100 that year.
Ruth was named Outstanding Vocalist of the Month for December 2006 by Singer Universe Magazine. Her resonant alto has been compared to Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, and Kathy Mattea. After hearing Ruth and Max perform the Scott Wiseman standard, Remember Me, Garrison Keillor told Ruth, “You have a big voice... I’d like to sing that song with you.” And the next night he did!
Duo or Quartet
Ruth and Max frequently appear accompanied by guitarist John “Sky” King and fiddler Dan Seabolt. Veterans of stage and studio, both have appeared on the couple’s recordings over the years. Dan’s jazzy yet traditional fiddle and John’s unusual “b-bender” guitar style add an exciting dynamic to Ruth’s original songs and favorite classics that audiences love.