Steve and Ruth
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Steve and Ruth


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An Appalachian Aire, Cabin Cove Records, 2005
A gentle instrumental blend of Celtic, Classical, and Appalachian music, featuring hammered dulcimer and acoustic fingerstyle guitar, along with flute, pennywhistle, Appalachian bowed dulcimer, and bodhran.


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Steve & Ruth Smith
Celtic Appalachian Music on Hammered Dulcimer & Guitar

Celtic Appalachian describes the unique music of Steve and Ruth Smith featuring hammered dulcimer and guitar. The North Carolina couple, both of Scots-Irish heritage, present a musical journey connecting the origins of 17th and 18th century Celtic music of Scotland and Ireland with today’s Appalachian mountain music.

Steve and Ruth, who are married, have been playing music together for many years and live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Through the years, they have performed together in venues around the world, including Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Tonga, Canada, and across the United States from North Carolina to Hawaii. Combining their individual musical influences, Steve and Ruth play a blend of traditional Appalachian, Celtic, Baroque, and original music.

Their concert “Celtic Music: The Appalachian Way” gives an overview of what Celtic Appalachian music is, where it came from, and how it lives on in modern times. In addition to hammered dulcimer and guitar, the concert also features Steve and Ruth on Appalachian Mountain dulcimer, clawhammer banjo, and vocals. Their many years of experience in the entertainment business in a wide array of venues around the nation and the world gives them the ability to adapt quickly and specifically tailor each performance for each individual audience.

A native North Carolinian, Ruth's artistic interests took a fresh direction into Appalachian music after moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ruth began playing music at a very young age and is a classically trained pianist and composer who has written numerous pieces for the hammered dulcimer. After playing many different musical instruments through the years, while recovering from kidney transplant surgery she found the hammered dulcimer to be a “fit” to her personality, a vehicle for healing, and a wonderful tool of self-expression. She enjoys the adaptability of this instrument to play many types of music, from sparkling fiddle tunes and Appalachian songs, to lovely Celtic and Baroque melodies. Ruth also enjoys playing Appalachian mountain dulcimer and is accomplished in traditional Appalachian fiber arts, including weaving and spinning.

Steve, an ASCAP award-winning song-writer, was raised in the Appalachian region playing mountain folk music from an early age, later working in the music industry in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. His original songs tell the story of simple Appalachian folk and the love of family, tradition, and homeland. While living and performing in Hawaii, Steve decided he needed to reconnect with those Scots-Irish Appalachian roots he had been singing about for so long. In 1990, Steve and Ruth returned to the mountains and Steve received a Master of Arts degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. He produced, wrote and hosted the weekly multi-state syndicated radio program “The Appalachian Way” featuring the region's mountain music and folklife. Steve, who also teaches audio production at Appalachian State University, records their Celtic Appalachian music in Steve and Ruth's log cabin studio on Snake Mountain in the Blue Ridge.

Their latest CD “An Appalachian Aire” is gaining national attention and airplay, most notably being chosen three consecutive weeks in 2006 by XM satellite radio as “The Best Music This Week on XM.” The title song, written by Ruth, was featured on National Public Radio’s on-line show “All Songs Considered.” The CD features Celtic and Appalachian music as well as several Baroque selections.

Their upcoming CD “Dancin Cross the Strings” (to be released in early 2007) features more of their original music as well as traditional Celtic and Appalachian tunes. They are currently performing music from both of these CDs in their live concert presentation.