Every time The Mammals take the stage there is something real at stake. Maybe it’s the risk-hungry spirit that the band’s songwriters Mike Merenda & Ruth Ungar adopted thru their youthful theater training, or maybe it’s that fiercely authentic, music-as-mission mindset learned from their elders. This folk music is not about suspenders and whiskey, although those are both beautiful things. The Mammals come to change the world, to connect timid generations, heal sore hearts, and enchant tired minds, one soulful, joyful show at a time.
Unless you’re one of those people who prefers politics and entertainment served separately, The Mammals’ holistic approach to life and music is refreshing. Their songs and stage banter are 100% down to earth, they tour as a family, and they produce a community music festival near their home in Woodstock, NY twice a year called The Hoot. The day after he sang at the first annual Summer Hoot in 2013, Pete Seeger wrote them a friendly postcard saying, “Dear Mike + Ruthy — Your Hoot was one of the best song gatherings I’ve seen in all my 94 years.” The local Hudson Valley community agrees as well, with “hootsters” of all ages making the Winter and Summer Hoot part of their family tradition.