The Whistlin’ Rufus musicians are a seasoned set. While their individual styles derive from vastly different musical experiences and training, together as a group their particular strengths meld and mix flawlessly, forming a unified full sound. Their songs seamlessly blend elements of Bluegrass, Celtic, Americana, Blues, Rock & Roll and even Classical to create unique tunes and memorable melodies. Their music is upbeat, varied and truly entertaining. A recent admirer appraisingly describes the band as a “cross between Old Crow Medicine Show and Celtic Storm, high energy and wonderful”.
Their fans and sponsors all share common adjectives describing the Whistlin' Rufus sound. Such as, “Awesome”, Wonderful Vocal Harmonies”, “ Superior Musicianship”, “ Great Song Selection “. There is something for everyone at a Whistlin' Rufus Show. While they favor their original music, a Whistlin' Rufus performance has a little something for everyone. Brilliant ballads, blazing bluegrass, Irish Pub tunes, and folk and rock favorites.
Pat Connell - Mandolin and Vocals
Ritchie Wernick - Guitar/ Vocal
Natasha O'Neal - Vocals, Fiddle
Patrick W. Connell - Banjo, Bass, Guitar, mandolin
Zac Banks - Cello
The newest CD, Released in February 2009 is
" It's About Time". Available on Itunes and Amazon or direct through the Whistlin' Rufus web portal. www.whistlinrufus.com. The CD has received very favorable reviews and is getting airtime from local FM stations to NPR affiliates across the country. KBOO in Portland, Oregon WUNC and "The Back Porch Music " program in Raleigh, NC; WDIY in Allentown, PA, just to mention a few markets.
New CD Review " It's About Time"
[+ Show ]
NW CD review: Whistlin’ Rufus and their new CD release “ It’s ...NW CD review: Whistlin’ Rufus and their new CD release
“ It’s About Time”
By Mary Stewart,
Whistlin’ Rufus is not just a traditional fiddle and acoustic guitar band.
Their new CD, “It’s About Time’ is a combination of infectious melodies,
lively bluegrass, soulful ballads and fast and joyous Irish pub tunes.
Rufus crafts their close harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and beautiful melodies
around each song to make them uniquely their own - the kind of songs that you find yourself listening to again and again and humming when you’re stuck in traffic.
This group of four talented, experienced musicians draws their creative strength from very diverse musical backgrounds and experiences. Pat Connell plays mandolin and guitar, Ritchie Wernick sings harmony and plays guitar and harmonica, Diana Hengerer shows her bluegrass, country and tour experience on the fiddle and guitar and classically trained cellist John Hubbard adds a sweet, rich balance on the cello and tasty flourishes with his banjo. The close-knit, talented group shares vocals. On the CD, Natasha O’Neal plays fiddle as well and Greg Paul adds the base.
Pat and Ritchie wrote and arranged 5 of the tracks on their new CD. These original compositions are straightforward, carefully knit tapestries of life, loves and losses, subtly infused here and there with catchy bits of traditional melodies that showcase the band’s unique and wonderful style. ‘Mid-life Orphans’ is Pat’s touching, thoughtful and fearless ballad about losing a generation of parents and finding himself and his generation orphaned by their loss. We’ve all visited a place of such beauty and mystery that its image is forever vivid in our mind’s eye. Pat Connell’s original folk ballad, ‘McCall”, celebrates and paints a vivid musical picture of such a place.
One of the most beautiful of these musical poems is a tribute that Pat co-wrote with Ritchie to honor Sgt. Sean Patrick Fennerty, the son of dear friends. Sean was killed in Iraq in 2007 and the song not only honors Sean for his heroism but because he was simply a great kid. In the song, Pat allows his mandolin to shed the tears of unbearable sadness for the loss of one so young and for every parent who loses a child to war. It is a powerful and haunting tribute to Sean and his parents Mo and Brian Fennerty.
‘Hills of Conamara’ and ‘Johnny Jump-Up’ are traditional high energy Irish Pub tunes that let Diana’s incredible fiddling and Ritchie’s joyous harmonica put you on your feet and dancing with the first few chords. In a live performance, Rufus’ energetic version of old-time rock and roll favorite, ‘Dream Lover’ had everyone in the room clapping, smiling and singing along.
Whistlin’ Rufus strikes a perfect balance between innovative blue grass Americana and the energy of traditional Irish music. The songs and music on their new CD and their live performances celebrate life and the celebration is contagious.
Mary Stewart, 3/31/09
It’s About Time
Grade : A-
Artist : Whistlin’ Rufus
Label: WR Recording Company, Herbert House Studios, PDX, Or.
Web site : http://www.whistlinrufus.com
Set lists vary according to the show. Whistlin' Rufus prefers their original compositions but include many traditional songs and some cover tunes in their performances.
Set Lists— SAMPLE — First Show
1. Time For Reckoning - Connell/ Wernick
2. Whistlin Rufus – Barnyards of Delgaty- Traditional
3. Preston Miller – Dave Carter
4. Colleen Malone - Tim O'Brien
5. Light in the Window/St.Annes Reel
6. Willin' – Lowell George
7. The Little Things- Connell/ Wernick
8. Jerusalem Ridge - Bill Monroe
9. McCall – Connell/ Wernick
10. Our Town- Iris Dement
11. Fox on the Run
12. Hills of Conamara - Traditional
13. Sin City – Gram Parsons
14. Meg Gray, Blackberry Blossom, Kentucky Mandolin
15. Old Home Place Home - Mitchell Jaynes
16. Sea of Heartbreak- Hal David
1.Tell Me Ma- Traditional
2. Fishers Hornpipe- Traditional
3. Little Hercules- Craig Carothers
4. Spanish Ladies & Dream- Traditional
5. Scandinavian Waltz - Traditional
6. Johnny Jump Up. - Traditional
7. Ballad of Sully Sullerman - Connell/Wernick
8. Good Riddance /Black Aristocracy – Green Day
9. Lucky One- Alison Krause
10. Jaybird/ If I Had a Boat – Lyle Lovett
11. Whiskey Before Breakfast - Traditional
12. Rights of Man / Shady Grove /Solitary Man
13. Five Days in May- Blue Rodeo
14. Dream Lover- Bobby Darin
Third show ( and more)
1. Junction Song- Connell / Wernick
2. Wagon Wheel—Old Crow Medicine Show
3. Washington County - Kenny Baker
5. Norwegian Wood- Paul McCartney
6. Voices of the Prairie - Bill Flynn
7. Mid Life Orphans – Connell/ Wernick
8. What’s Not to like about a Fireman– Connell/Wernick
9. She was the Prize- Steve Twigger
10. Walk on Boy- Doc Watson
11. Vincent 52- Richard Thompson
12. Time of Reckoning Connell/ Wernick
13. Lost Little Children – Tim Obrien
14. For No One – Paul McCartney
PDF RiderWR Stage Plot 2013 Festivals.pdf
There are no upcoming dates at this time.