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A concert by The Mammals is healing and inspirational. It’s not only the magic of their combined voices; Ruth Ungar’s remarkably soulful grace and Mike Merenda’s hushed and intimate ease, it’s also the lyrics themselves that strike deep and spark smiles. Nominated for Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards, the title track of their 2018 album Sunshiner is an instant full-room sing-along, with a chorus that honors the past while envisioning a bright future of green energy, and good, positive human collaboration.
The band’s quintet lineup features dynamic drummer Konrad Meissner and a rotating inner circle of their favorite bass and organ/piano players. The Mammals joke that they’re “too folk for the rock show” and “too rock for the folk show” but in reality they hit the critical emotional and sonic touchstones of both. Their performances are propelled forward by just the right amount of guitar grit, soothing harmony, barn-burning fiddle, retro grooves, and storytelling savvy.