Ruth & Max Bloomquist

 

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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.

They often perform as the Ruth and Max Bloomquist Band, with Ruth on guitar, Max on bass, Dan Seabolt on fiddle and John “Sky” King on guitar.

On Wednesday, Ruth and Dan stopped by the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) for my “Local Spins Live” segment to talk about their music and perform a song, “Daddy Was an Old Man,” on the air, a song written by Ruth about a friend's father. You can view a video below of that acoustic performance here at “Sound Check” (with an intro as the duo warmed up in the Green Room prior to the show).

You can also check out the band when it performs as part of the Winter Wheat fundraiser for Wheatland Music Festival on Saturday at The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, in Grand Rapids.

The day-long show, which kicks off at 1 p.m., will feature more than a dozen folk acts on two stages. The Bloomquists will perform at 4 p.m. in the front lounge, between sets by Bruce and Becca Ling of Hawks & Owls and An Dro.

Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students in advance at The Intersection or online at wheatlandmusic.org; $20 at the door the day of the all-ages show.

For more information and links to music samples, visit the Bloomquists' official website or check out their reverbnation.com site.

 

CD Cover: 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.

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...

CD Cover: One Day Ain't EnoughRUTH BLOOMQUIST-ONE DAY AIN'T ENOUGH-Ruby Records 906.

Ruth Bloomquistis 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.

 

RUBY

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.

  Midwestrecord.com


CD Cover: 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.”