Muddy Ruckus is an alternative rock duo of “darkly inventive americana” according to the New York Music Daily. Guitarist Ryan Flaherty and drummer Erika Stahl of Portland, Maine play a grungy style of railroad indie punk blues. This stripped-down power-duo blends rootsy guitar and edgy percussion on a suitcase drum kit, and is known for a full rock band sound.
Muddy Ruckus recently released their new single Brimstone on Jan 25th, 2019. The song was recorded in their home studio in Maine. It begins with a haunting whistle to hook you in, followed by a jangly guitar and profound lyrics like “and I believe i’ll forget all about you, it’s the best thing I can do - for my anger it won’t bring me nothing but those foolish brimstone blues”. Transitioning between alternative rock and folk fusion, the duo keeps a foot in each door by featuring several of their influences in just one song.
"The band is reigning in the ruckus and revealing a bit of their softness with their new single Brimstone, featuring bassist Mark Abraham from Enter The Haggis. Haunting whistles and warm, soulful harmonies lure you in — all the while building up into a powerful, rootsy, instant rock classic you’ll want to play again and again. Listen and hear their unique blend of seasoning, spices, and textures from a road well traveled - helping you to ease your mind and go wherever the music takes you." - Rad Plaid
Muddy Ruckus and The Z-Boys of Providence, RI are releasing a 7" vinyl in March, 2019. The songs were recorded at the amazing Rocktorium Records in W Kingston, RI. The split-vinyl will drop with 4 shows in some of the best venues across New England, including One Longfellow Square in Portland, ME and Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI.
"Their music is down and dirty, steeped in the mud of the Mississippi delta and the Louisiana swamps, but also in the mud and grime of Woodstock and the mosh pit at an outdoor punk show." - Maine Today
"Infectious, foot-stomping Americana tunes. Similar to the White Stripes in duo power, Muddy Ruckus delivers a fullbodied sound with nothing but a guitar and suitcase drums.” -The Sound
"Swampy, dirty, gritty, gorgeous? Yeah, pretty much all that can be used to describe the blues infused punch of the Portland duos sound." - Redline Roots
“Two drums and a suitcase, that's Rock N' Roll." - Extended Play Sessions
2018 – Bellows To Mend
June 1st, 2018, Muddy Ruckus released their third album Bellows To Mend - amping things up to be their loudest and most raucous album, unleashing more gritty garage blues and grunge influences along with a tribute cover to Woody Guthrie. Several songs feature virtuosic fiddle shredding from the bands long time friend and violinist Daisy Castro. Shortly before the album released, Muddy Ruckus was awarded Rock n' Roller's of the Year by Redline Roots.
"Bellows to Mend captures the manic passion of Muddy Ruckus’ live performances while demonstrating how much depth just two musicians can pull from the studio. With much love to their previous efforts, this is hands down their best work so far." - Evolvement Radio, album reviews.
2017 – Awakening Enkindled EP
August 20, 2017, Muddy Ruckus two song EP Awakening Enkindled featuring more of a lyrical side and drawing back to the folksy vibe of their first album. In that same year, Muddy Ruckus was awarded Rock N’ Rollers of the Year from Redline Roots.
2016 – Pretty Bones
In the summer of 2016, Muddy Ruckus dropped their second record Pretty Bones and was awarded 2016 Album of the Year by Redline Roots. The duo was also called Best in State of Maine by the New England Music Awards in that same year. Pretty Bones was a fiery follow up to their roots-driven self-titled debut from 2014, adding an even more raucous flair to their brand of folk-laden duo-stomp rock.
"It's rare that a band releases a burner for their sophomore album, the kind you listen to the entire way through and then hit repeat. Yet Muddy Ruckus do just that with Pretty Bones" - Glide Magazine
2014 – Muddy Ruckus
On October 30, 2014, Muddy Ruckus released their debut album. Stahl was only singing at the time and Flaherty was still playing many shows solo with just guitar and his suitcase kick, which later became the featured instrument in Erika's set up. With the help of Stahl, Flaherty put together a band to go on tour with and record the songs that appear on their debut. "It was really more of a demo" explains Flaherty.
"It's an obscure album for us, when Muddy Ruckus was still in the womb, trying to find a home. I was jamming and playing with a lot of bluegrass and jazz players at the time, so those elements are definitely heard throughout the songs, which was a cool contrast to my usual rock and folk roots. Our music has traveled in many different directions since then, wearing different faces. We have many different influences and they're all part of our expression and method. Muddy Ruckus isn't just our name - it's the kind of music we play."
2013 – Ryan and Erika
Ryan and Erika met on July 21st, 2013 in Portland, Maine while Ryan was performing, with a former band, at an outdoor venue near the docks. They made an instant connection over music, began dating and going out to see music together. Stahl was very much influenced by classic rock and blues, and was turning Flaherty on to albums by The Rolling Stones, B.B. King and The Grateful Dead. Flaherty had actually seen the Grateful Dead in concert but had not really investigated those albums. Because of this, Stahl’s own influences have had a great effect on the writing of Flaherty’s future songs with Muddy Ruckus. She began singing along at live shows and eventually joined Flaherty on stage, singing with the band full time. In 2014, Flaherty and Stahl formed a temporary back up band to tour and record their first album -self titled Muddy Ruckus. Flaherty came up with the name Muddy Ruckus while still performing solo. His intention with the name was to purely describe the style of music he was writing. After the first tour, Stahl and Flaherty decided they wanted to keep making music and performing together but still had not formed a concrete band. Instead of seeking other musicians out, Stahl picked up the drums and began playing with Flaherty as a duo. She went for a stripped down kit, tying a tambourine by rope to a suitcase and using it as a kick drum with only a snare, high hat and tom to boot. Stahl, originally from Albany, NY had barely played the drums before. When she was in grade school, she had asked her band teacher if she could play drums. The teachers response: “Girls don’t play the drums”. After 3 albums and 5 years of solid touring, Stahl has definitely proven opposite.
Past & Upcoming Festivals
2019 Maine International Film Fest, Waterville, ME
2019 From Our Roots series, Standish, ME
2019 Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, ME
2019 The Town and the City Festival, Lowell, MA
2019 Vintage Bazaar, Kingston, NH
2019 Harry Brown's Farm, Starks, ME
2019 Levitate Backyard Series, Marshfield, MA
2019 Old 78 Farm Fall Festival - Warwick, MA
2019 Mile 7 Music Fest - Appleton, WI
2018 Old Port Fest - Portland, ME
2018 Harbor Loop Concerts - Gloucester, MA
2018 Wakefield Music Festival - Wakefield, RI
2018 Eastern Promenade Summer Concerts - Portland, ME
2017 Americanafest Official Showcase Artist - Nashville, TN
2017 North Haven Community Days Fest - North Haven, ME
2017 Blues, Views & BBQ Fest - Westport, CT
2017 Cambridge River Fest - Cambridge, MA
2016 Festival at the Farm - Canton, MA
2016 Checkpoint Charlies - New Orleans, LA
2016 Bath Heritage Festival 2016 - Bath, ME
2016 Microbrew Fest Dover - Dover, NH
2016 Meraki Roots Festival 2016 - Salisbury, MA
2016 Hill To Hill Music Fest - Rockingham, VT
2015 Fairfield Music Festival - Fairfield, IA
2015 Old Port Fest - Portland, ME
2015 Arootsakoostic Music Festival - New Sweden, ME
2014 New England Acoustic Music Festival - Putnam, CT
Muddy Ruckus has shared the stage with: Enter The Haggis, James Montgomery, Duke Robillard, Spirit Family Reunion,
Elephant Revival, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Ghost of Paul Revere and many more.