Indie-roots trailblazers, The Mammals, are a high-octane Americana quintet from New York’s storied Hudson Valley carrying on the work of Pete Seeger & Woody Guthrie with a deep original repertoire, searing American roots sound, and a message of hope for humanity.
Known for their jubilant, high-energy shows, The Mammals deftly move from older-than-dirt banjo duets to sound-the-alarm topical fare that’s right in line with the times, bouncing from rafter raising hoe-downs to hear-a-pin-drop a cappella balladry.
Founded in 2001 by Seeger’s grandson, Tao, second generation fiddler/singer, Ruth Ungar, and multi-instrumental wordsmith, Mike Merenda, the original trio enjoyed a remarkable 7 year run that brought them to the largest folk festivals across North America, Australia and Denmark, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (with stringband peers Nickel Creek), New York’s Carnegie Hall as the special guest of folk legend Arlo Guthrie, and to the pages of numerous publications lauding their unique “traditional-music-in-combat-boots-sound” including a feature in The New York Times handpicking them as a leader in a pack of new-wave stringbands “updating that old-time sound.”
After a considerable break from the project during which time Merenda and Ungar married and started a family, a bi-annual folk festival, and a musical duo aptly called, Mike + Ruthy, and Seeger pursuing a solo career before retiring from music all together to start a family of his own, The Mammals returned fronted by Merenda and Ungar in 2017 “stronger than ever” (Folk Alley) with a pair of politically charged singles, “Culture War” and “My Baby Drinks Water,” and the announcement of a new album in 2018.
The Mammals treasure the timeless traditions of song, story-telling and dance. Their work is to continue a musical odyssey so that the same handmade music passed down to them makes it thru to future generations one song, one concert at a time.