by Dan Bolles
We're going to take a break from your regularly scheduled retro reminiscences, to focus on a current outfit, Mike + Ruthy, who will be rocking the weekly Bluegrass Thursdays series tonight at Nectar's.
I had a great conversation with guitarist/vocalist Mike Merenda a couple of days ago, which I had hoped to post here. Unfortunately, I won't have time to transcribe the whole thing. So I'll sit on that until they come back around. It'll be worth the wait, I promise.
However, at the end of our phoner, I asked Merenda to choose one song from the duo's new album, Million to One, as a personal favorite and why. Here's what he said, as well as the tune itself, "End of Time."
"End of Time" is sort of the launching point for the whole record. Just from a sonic point of view, I feel it's where the entire record comes from. And from an emotional point, it means the most for me. I definitely tend to write from the ether, and I never know what's going to come on the page. I don't sit down to write anything specifically. I guess I feel like it's to contrived to be like, "Well, now I'm going to go write a song." I try to keep it more organic — although that might be pushing it to say that's exactly my process.
But that song came about at a very critical point in my life. It was right when Ruthy and my son was born. But then the same week, our friend was killed in Iraq, maybe two days after our son was born. And I had to sort through all of these very high highs, and very low lows: losing a childhood friend, and welcoming my first child into the world. I think that song bounces back and forth between bliss and desperation, and ends up somewhere in between. It's not telling a linear story, but for me it gets a lot of that emotion out of me, and into the world. -Mike Merenda