Things That Strangers Say
Richard Ruane's music has been described as well-crafted, soulful, rootsy, haunting and intelligently infectious. Richard has been a songwriting finalist for the Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk Competition, the Great Waters Folk Festival's Songwriting Competition, the Plowshares Coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter Competition and the SolarFest Songwriter Showcase. Richard's vocal and writing style has been compared to Richard Shindell, John Gorka, Richard Thompson and (what baritone folkie hasn't heard this comparison) James Taylor. He has been in a number of different groups over the years, including 'Feast or Famine' and 'Sundog.' Richard is also actively involved in presenting music in Vermont. He is on the board of directors and the selection committees for the Ripton Community Coffee House and the Middlebury Festival on the Green. He has shared the stage with many people, including Pete Seeger, Brooks Williams, Lynn Miles, Phish, Louise Taylor, Robin Williamson, Slaid Cleaves, Jennifer Kimball, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen and Rachel Bissex. Some comments people have made: 'A great collection of songs that quickly become like good friends upon first meeting. The evocative 'Old Lovers'; the innocent joy of 'A Heart That's Open Wide'; the universal sentimentality of 'Light of the World'; and the hilarious honesty of 'Well-Meaning Folks with Guitars' - all songs that share a common bond of life experience. Richard is adept at the fine art of story-telling put to song, whether it's about the down-and-out, leaving one's homeland, or a dark encounter in a Dublin park. Fourteen original songs that speak to different shades of love, joy, mystery and real life; the one cover, 'Crazy Man Michael,' is a well-done tribute to an obvious mentor, Richard Thompson. His voice has a soothing quality, at times plaintive, at times mirthful, but always expressive. The accompaniments are sometimes rich, sometimes stark, but add just the right texture - in particular, Patti Casey's backing vocals. If 'folk music' as a category means acoustic, traditional, simple, personal, story-like, then this fits. But it's more than that. Richard plugs into his soul's emotions to bring forth well-crafted songs that speak a universal language. They will linger with you a long time.' - Terry Lickona, Producer, Austin City Limits, PBS. "Love the disc, very well done, some great backing talent, but what carries it for me is the writing and your strong vocals!" - Chris Darling, Us Folk, WMPG "Do you know just how good your CD is?" - Marilyn Rea Beyer, WUMB "Well-crafted songs, lyrically clear and vocally strong." - Steve Lemke, Burlington Free Press "Adroit guitar and mandolin playing. Lyrically, Ruane is a storyteller with a gift for place and character. Keenly observant." - Pamela Polston, Seven Days "He is a pleasure to listen to. He comes on stage with a wealth of original songs ranging from the wry and witty to serious and thought-provoking." - Greg Pahl, Addison County Independent "His strong voice with compassionate lyrics grabbed the audience throughout his performances. A polished performer." - Carol & Harvey Green, After Dark Music Series 'Reminiscent of Richard Shindell in style and Pete Seeger in sincerity.' - Jack Honig, The Vermont Coffeehouse.