The Bidwells
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The Bidwells

Chico, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Chico, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2018
Duo Folk Singer/Songwriter




"E-R Sessions: Acoustic duo The Bidwells cover mix of artists"

E-R Sessions: Acoustic duo The Bidwells cover mix of artists
By JEFFREY FOX | Correspondent
PUBLISHED: February 14, 2018 at 8:10 pm | UPDATED: May 30, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Chico >> An acoustic guitar, a harmonica, two voices and a kazoo; The Bidwells are an acoustic duo featuring vocal harmonies from Ben Ruttenburg and Samantha Francis.

“We follow in the musical footsteps of duet singer-songwriters like Carole King, James Taylor, The Civil Wars, She & Him, and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell,” Ruttenburg said.

The pair have more than 11 years of combined experience entertaining audiences with their popular, Chico area cover band.

The Bidwells began as an outlet for the duo to pivot and explore more intimate and heartfelt musical expressions where they could dive deeper into the world of songwriting.

Catch them performing live 6:30-7:45 p.m. Feb. 22 at Farm Star Pizza, 2359 The Esplanade. No cover.

“The audience can expect to hear the two of us playing an eclectic mix of original material and carefully selected covers from a variety of vintage and modern artists,” Ruttenburg said.

For more on The Bidwells, visit their website at

Watch them on E-R Sessions at - Enterprise Record

"Chico artists successfully revamp Madonna smash hits"

Chico artists successfully revamp Madonna smash hits
Rayanne Painter
January 30, 2019

The sass of Madonna and the raw talent of Uncle Dad’s Art Collective joined forces for a fiery opening night. Filled with all of Madonna’s classic hits from “Material Girl” to “Like a Prayer,” musicians, vocalists and dancers collaborated beautifully to commemorate community art and ‘80s favorites.

The show debuted Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Laxson Auditorium and two more performances took place on Friday and Saturday.

There was no shortage of musical expertise throughout the night. Ranging from blaring horn sections to smooth jazz bands, the set was constantly changing from one skillful ensemble to the next. Cover bands may not be too exciting, but Uncle Dad’s never failed to impress with powerful vocalists and remixes of popular Madonna tunes.

At one point, a full gospel choir was brought onto the stage for the final song of Act One. The classic “Like a Prayer” began slower than the original, with vocalist Samantha Francis building anticipation with her long and bluesy notes. When the beat finally dropped, so did the energy from the gospel choir and horn section as the song found its upbeat anthem. The crowd cheered as Francis nailed her vibrato and somehow kept up with her footwork as well.

The band and vocal talent were noteworthy, but the dancers stole the spotlight in many numbers. Some of the slower songs featured lyrical dance and ballet, its members twirling and bounding about with skirts that caught the air. The more energized sets highlighted tap-dancing and bright jazz numbers.

Samantha Francis and Ben Ruttenburg stole the scene with “Cherish”, performing the song as a duet and spinning each other around while still managing to maintain tune and rhythm. Audience members clapped and awed as the two shared an endearing kiss at the end of the song.

This evening of music and spirited performances brought the Chico community together. Many seemed to be supporters of Uncle Dad’s Art Collective and friends or family of performers, but Chico State students and faculty appeared to be in attendance along with town members.

Uncle Dad’s Art Collective is all about community, as they act as a collaboration between local dancers, vocalists, writers, directors, actors and artists. They are dedicated to fostering mixed arts within Chico and to allow a space for artists to explore their passions freely. The group has produced nine theatrical, musical and art events since being founded in 2013.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page and website for upcoming events and auditions for theatrical or musical shows. - The Orion


Still working on that hot first release.



The Bidwells humbly follow in the footsteps of legendary partnerships like Cash/Carter, Gaye/Terrell, and King/Goffin, and hope to forge a path unique to their own personal life experiences. Informed by over a decade of professional work in the casino and wedding band business, The Bidwells are well-equipped to navigate the world of live musical entertainment. They've stripped away the synthesizers and click tracks to lay bare their voices and blend in harmony. Their chemistry alone is enough to enchant their audiences, but that's only where their dynamic begins. Utilizing the many years of professional experience the duo has acquired, the song selection comes from a wide range of genre and inspiration from generations past and present, including many of their own personal favorites. Songs like "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan (covered by Adele) and "Let It Be Me" by The Everly Brothers are sweetly sung, evoking an air of intimacy and tenderness, and may be promptly followed by more upbeat numbers like The Jackson 5's "Blame It On The Boogie" or Nat King Cole's "L.O.V.E.", complete with harmonica and kazoo solos galore! The duo's original work is prominently featured in their live shows, and will help to give the audience an even deeper look into the hearts and souls of these two enchanting songbirds. 

Band Members