Bread and Bones

Bread and Bones

BandFolkAmericana

Award-winning original music, steeped in tradition, but of its own time. 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase Performers. Juried 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance showcase performers. Selected by folk DJs for the Folk DJ Showcase.

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Biography

Bread and Bones is a Vermont-based acoustic trio performing original music with a strong traditional-roots foundation. Made up of Richard Ruane, Beth Duquette and Mitch Barron, their sound is characterized by imaginative two- and three-part harmonies over solid guitar and bass work.

They appeared on the main stage at the 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in the Emerging Artist Showcase. They were juried 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance showcase performers and selected by folk DJs for the Folk DJ Showcase. Their CD "I Know Stories" was named Vermont's Best Traditional Album of 2008. Ruane was a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition, the Great Waters Music Festival Songwriter Contest and the Plowshares Coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter Competition. He was an award winner at the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and the SolarFest Songwriter Showcase.

Ruane's songwriting has been compared at times to Richard Shindell, Richard Thompson and John Gorka. The sound of their harmonies has been compared to Tim and Molly O'Brien.

They primarily perform original music, but also some traditional songs from America and the British Isles, songs by other songwriters and some jazz standards. Richard Ruane's warm baritone voice blends seamlessly with Beth Duquette’s expressive alto. Ruane plays guitar, ukulele, mandolin and banjo. Mitch Barron adds his wonderful presence on fretless, fretted and upright bass and vocals.

"Bread and Bones gives a great live show. Their gorgeous 3 part harmonies are the perfect complement to the warm and heartfelt songwriting of Richard Ruane. In their show, they created a playful, warm environment for the audience and kept us all engaged until the last song." - Anna Maria Tocci, the North Star Music Café, Portland, Maine

"They are entertainers of the first order, producing gorgeous harmonies, captivating lyrics, and witty banter. We are always thrilled to welcome them back to the Ball & Chain." - Barbara Ebling, the Ball and Chain Café, Brandon, Vermont

“Ruane is adept at the fine art of storytelling put to song, whether it’s about the down-and-out, leaving one’s homeland, or a dark encounter in a Dublin park. His originals speak to different shades of love, joy, mystery and real life.” - Terry Lickona, producer of Austin City Limits

"Their playing and singing are crisp and confident: Ruane’s work on guitar is full of finesse and creativity. Ms. Duquette’s harmony and lead vocals are clear and to the point but not overly adorned. And – to my ear at least – Barron’s sparse, deep backing on both upright bass and fretless electric puts the real stamp on this music as original, from-the-shoulder, and very much alive." - Jeff Trippe in MaineFolkMusic.com

"Bread & Bones is a trio which has a great variety of material. Many tunes are Richard's, and his music takes you from laughing to pondering. Their great musicianship, tunes and lively stage banter has made them a favorite at The Music Box." - Lisa Sammet, the Music Box, Craftsbury, Vermont

Lyrics

Bread and Bones

Written By: Richard Ruane

Bread and Bones – © 2004 Richard Ruane

Bread and bones, but a little too cold
Rusty knife got a little too old
Rusty knife won against a gun
Turned my heels and away I run

Away I run, but I should have stayed
Should have talked and not run away
Ran myself right out of time
Caught me down by the borderline

The borderline all fog and rain
Rocks and stone on a cold hard plain
Hurt my feet to walk a mile
Took me back to stand my trial

Stood my trial, but a little too bold
Justice blind to the truth I told
They heard the truth, but would not believe
No sympathy did I receive.

No sympathy that I deserve
Bread and bones and a cold hard nerve
Bread and bones, soon a little too cold
No one to mourn, no one to hold

No one to hold or be held to
No one to tell my secrets to
Let secrets pass and fall away
Bread and bones in cold hard clay

My Father Is Gone

Written By: Richard Ruane

My Father is Gone - © 2003 Richard Ruane

In the coal mining hills of Pennsylvania
My father grew up just above the mines
But his father told him no
You won’t be working down below
‘Cause I won’t see you fall before your time

So my father had a job out at the railway
Moving round the coal-filled railroad cars
‘Til one April afternoon
My aunt came up to my room
And told me there’d been trouble at the yards

My father is gone, he will not return.
You can’t hold a life beyond its own turn
Can’t hold back the night or hurry the dawn
It cannot be changed, my father is gone

There were people in their suits down in the parlor
Tall men come to shake me by the hand
And a kitchen full of pies
And my mother’s weary eyes
And my uncle told me “Son, now be a man.”

Refrain

But I dreamed that he opened his eyes
That he opened his eyes
And all was all right

Refrain

Fair and Tender Ladies

Written By: Traditional

Come all you fair and tender ladies
Be careful how you court young men
They're like the stars that rise in morning
They first appear, and then they're gone

If I had known before I courted
I swear I would have courted none
I'd lock my heart in a box so golden
And seal it up with a silver pin

I wish I were some tiny sparrow
That I had wings, and I could fly
I'd fly straight way to my false lover
And sing and call with every lie

But I am not some tiny sparrow
I have no wings, I cannot fly
I bide my time, and weep my sorrow
And try to pass my troubles by

Do you recall our days of courting
You lay your head upon my breast
I'd have believed with all your lying
That the sun rose in the west

So all you fair and tender ladies
Be careful how you court young men
They're like the stars that rise in morning
They first appear, and then they're gone
They just appear, and then they're gone
They just appear, and then they're gone

Could Have Been a Dream

Written By: Richard Ruane

Could Have Been a Dream – Copyright 2010 by Richard Ruane

I think I was but two or so, could have been a dream
My momma said it’s time to go, could have been a dream
She wiped some tears from off her face
Told me “Let’s find a better place”
We left our house without a trace, at least that’s how it seemed

And for a time we moved around, could have been a dream
A month or less in every town, could have been a dream
She took the jobs that she could do
We slept on floors and outside too
And my sweet momma’s love I knew, at least that’s how it seemed

You’re my little one, my evening star
My color and my sight
You’re my daylight, my gentle rain
Sleep peacefully tonight
Sleep peacefully tonight

At a park where I could play, could have been a dream
A marshal came, took us away, could have been a dream
Saw my momma start to cry
I held her close and asked her why
She said she made my daddy die, at least that’s how it seemed

You’re my little one, my evening star
My color and my sight
You’re my daylight, my gentle rain
Sleep peacefully tonight
Sleep peacefully tonight

I think I was but three or so, could have been a dream
My momma said she had to go, could have been a dream
She said someone would raise me right
So treat them well and be polite
And kissed me one last time goodnight, at least that’s how it seemed

You’re my little one, my evening star
My color and my sight
You’re my daylight, my gentle rain
Sleep peacefully tonight
Sleep peacefully tonight

You’re my little one, my evening star
My color and my sight
You’re my daylight, my gentle rain
Sleep peacefully tonight
Sleep peacefully tonight
Sleep peacefully tonight

Breakwater

Written By: Richard Ruane

Breakwater – Copyright 2010 by Richard Ruane

From the big waves splashing up on the breakwater
To the channel markers winding through the bay
To the houses on the ridge
And the cars upon the bridge
They’re all signs to guide you back, from out away

Though you left here like a raft upon the water
Now you’ve turned into ship of steam and steel
Where once you looked so pale
Now you ride into the gale
Oh the time we knew together, was it real

Was it fairy gold and dreams, gone with the morning light
Not staying all it seems, even though it shines so bright
You slip out with the tide, and now the waves bear you along
And if you come again sometimes, I know that you’re still gone

Oh the ships I see out coasting off the shoreline
With their lights a double mirror against the sea
They’re not coming to the shore
They don’t berth here like before
And the tide brings mainly flotsam and debris

And it’s like fairy gold and dreams, gone with the morning light
Not staying all it seems, even though it shines so bright
You slip out with the tide, and now the waves bear you along
And if you come again sometimes, I know that you’re still gone

From the big waves splashing up on the breakwater
To the channel markers winding through the bay
To the houses on the ridge
And the cars upon the bridge
They’re all signs to guide you back, from out away

Discography

Bread and Bones - "Could Have Been a Dream " 2011 Riptone Records

Bread and Bones - "I Know Stories" 2008 Riptone Records

Richard Ruane - "Things That Strangers Say" 2001 Riptone Records

Set List

Here are some of the songs performed by Bread and Bones. All songs by Richard Ruane except as noted.

Boston
I Was Not Born Here
You Cannot Find a Thing That Isn't There - Beth lead vocal
Bread and Bones
Soon I Will Be Done (Traditional) - Beth and Richard split lead vocals
My Father is Gone
You Call to Me (Ruane/Duquette) - Beth lead vocal
Let Me Know
I Dreamed I Rose
Lord Franklin (Traditional)
Will I Be Welcome
Comes Love (Lew Brown, Sam Stept & Charles Tobias) - Beth lead vocal
Blue Coyote
October
The Wolf is at the Door
Brecon Beacon
You Don’t Miss Your Water (William Bell) - Beth lead vocal
Look Out the Moon
Old Lovers
Bartender Blues
Slipping on Your Way - Beth and Richard split lead vocals
Don’t You Trust Me
George
Bits of Moonlight - Beth lead vocal
This Is the Day
Time Is Passing
Fair and Tender Ladies (Traditional) - Beth lead vocal
There Are No Angels Here Today
Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt) - Beth, Mitch and Richard split lead vocals