Ruth & Max Bloomquist


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On a Canvas Painted Blue

by Ruth and Max Bloomquist

Released 2017
Ruby Records
Released 2017
Ruby Records
Ten of Ruth's originals written and recorded over the last few years. Influenced by folk, bluegrass, and country, Ruth and Max have created an Acoustic Americana that is all their own evoking images and emotions common to us all.
Rootsy Acoustic Americana Folk
Original. Traditional. Passionate. Fun.

Ruth and Max celebrate 40 years of married musical life together with the release of On a Canvas Painted Blue, a collection of songs written by Ruth over the last few years plus a song by one of their favorite Michigan songwriters. Influenced by folk, bluegrass, and country, Ruth and Max have created an Acoustic Americana that is all their own evoking images and emotions common to us all.

Song notes from Ruth:
1. It’s A Beautiful Day 3:17
Our friend Bob Skolnik asked me to write a song to go along with a video he was making to promote a local bike trail. This is what I came up with!

2. Nothing But Love 3:13
Written for the wedding of a friend.

3. The Tapestry 3:49
This is just how I feel about life.

4. Dear Mr. Keillor 2:30
Doesn't every folk performer want to be on Prairie Home Companion?

5. On The Horizon 2:55
My homage to books, libraries, and bookstores. I love them!

6. Heart And Hand 3:39
This was written for the village of Dio in Southwestern France. The folks there are so kind and accepting of us and our music, even though we don’t speak French.

7. Oh Honey! 3:18
Just a little ukulele silliness.

8. Sing Me The Red River Valley 4:07
Many years ago as a young folk singer I encountered a fellow who had been in the Italian Resistance during WWII. He requested Red River Valley, then went on to tell me why. He and his compatriots had been with a group of soldiers from other countries. There was an American among them that carried a guitar through all that chaos, and at night he would play that song. The music would drift over the foxholes in the quiet evenings.

9. I’m The One Who Does The Leaving 3:12
Just a touch of country.

10. St. Jude 4:00
My friend Drew Nelson and his co-writer Janni Littlepage wrote this lovely Irish flavored Civil War song. I am honored to share it on this CD.

11. First Snow 3:30
I have been a fan of that first gentle snowfall, when the world is quiet and giant snowflakes drift lazily down to the ground. Often that first snow is at night and that makes it even more magical to me.

“…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: 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 360,000 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 2017.

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 360,000 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.
Outstanding Vocalist
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!

January 06, 2012 John Sinkevics - Grand Rapids (MI) Press
They met in 1975, played their first show together in a band named Amaryllis at Grand Rapids' Festival of the Arts in 1976, and they've never looked back.
Ruth and Max Bloomquist, who live in Norton Shores, south of Muskegon, have since become veritable folk music legends in Michigan, captivating audiences with their songs, their harmonies and their folk-infused charm.
Ruth has earned her share of singing and songwriting awards over the years, often hailed by critics and publications across the country for her terrific alto vocals – a voice rightly compared to the likes of Anne Murray and Kathy Mattea.
The couple's most recent album, “Turn Back a Page,” soared to No. 5 on the Folk Radio Airplay Chart in 2010, thanks to “tender, beautifully performed acoustic music with a traditional flair,” as I put it in my review at the time.

March 01, 2010
Turn Back A PageTurn Back A Page - "One thing you can count on from Ruth & Max Bloomquist is consistently high-quality musical performance. They do not disappoint in their latest release "Turn Back A Page". Real songs with real emotions, great instrumental work, superb harmonies and one of the best female vocalists in the business (Ruth, of course!). This CD is pure listening pleasure." - Al Kniola, Host, The Back Porch, 88.1 WVPE Public Radio.

April 09, 2012 John Black - High Plains Morning
This week's A-List CD
Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon on High Plains Morning with John Black

Fans of so-called “Roots Music” and contemporary Folk are going to love this CD! It comes to us from a duo who've been making a name for themselves all over NPR and in coffee houses around the world. Maybe you've heard of them. The album is called Turn Back a Page from the husband & wife music-making team of Ruth & Max Bloomquist... excitement shines through on this collection of a dozen wonderful songs. The songs tell stories that are sure to resonate...

April 01, 2007 - Bluegrass Unlimited
One Day Ain't EnoughRUTH BLOOMQUIST-ONE DAY AIN'T ENOUGH-Ruby Records 906.
Ruth Bloomquist is a prolific composer and musician and past
winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest
held annually at MerleFest. This latest release
emphasizes her songwriting prowess, the two
exceptions being Scott Wiseman's "Remember
Me (When The Candle Lights Are Gleaming") and
"He Don't Like To Talk About It," penned by
Jennifer Kimball and Claire Lynch. The other 11
selections are Ruth Bloomquist originals
performed in a contemporary style. She is joined
by husband, Max, and numerous musicians on
performances that include "Weary Heart Of
Stone," "Love Goes Round," "Left By The Side Of
The Road," and "Put Down That Beer And Dance"
(inspired by the Louvin Brothers). "One Day Ain't
Enough" is contemporary bluegrass at its finest
and illustrates just why Ruth Bloomquist is a
significant creative force in bluegrass music.

February 13, 2008 Chris Spector -
RUTH BLOOMQUIST/One Day Ain’t Enough: When the 1974 oil crisis sent the acoustic music world underground, the Bloomquists were just finding their footing. As such, they’ve been fiercely independent all this time–after the missed the boat, they never bothered trying to get on when it docked again. 30 years of musical simpatico, blossoming in the obscurity of Michigan and winning high awards and recognition along the way are the sum total of what made this record such a charmer. As organic as it gets, the bluegrass based playing behind the heartfelt singer/songwriter vocals of Bloomquist make this one of the top adult alternative sets you will find. Tasty stuff that just doesn’t quit.

February 01, 2002 - Bluegrass Unlimited
All For Love's Sake
“All For Love’s Sake...a minor acoustic masterpiece...Ruth Bloomquist is a multi-talented acoustic artist with an exceptional ability to traverse boundaries separating various musical categories.”