Dave Ruch (it rhymes with “duck”) is a dedicated performer, interpreter and collector of traditional American and New York State folksongs, and a musician of uncommon skill.
Travelling regionally from his home base in Buffalo NY, Dave gives over 300 concerts, lectures and workshops each year for schools, music festivals, historical societies, folk music organizations, professional conferences, libraries, museums and community events across the northeastern US.
On his debut solo recordng, “The Oldest Was Born First”, Ruch presents songs, ballads, dance tunes and ditties of his native New York State, a largely rural locale despite its well known cities.
With guitar, mandolin, jew\'s harp, 5-string & tenor banjo, concertina, fiddle, spoons, voice and more, Dave tastefully interprets the traditional music of farmers, lumbermen, canallers, immigrants, fiddlers, fifers
and families. A 12-page booklet of song notes and historical background is also included.
A unique version of an Adirondack lumbercamp ballad (“The Ballad of Blue Mountain Lake”), a duet on “Wisconsin” with singer Alison Pipitone, a “lost” Erie Canal song carefully reassembled and sung a cappella with chorus (“The E-ri-o Canal”), an oral tradition version of “Roslyn Castle”, a medley of French Canadian dance tunes from NY
tradition played with a gypsy jazz band (“Montreal Reel/La Bastringue”) and much more!
The recording draws together material from both published and unpublished sources such as The Flanders Ballad Collection, The Warner Collection (Anne & Frank Warner), New York State Old Time Fiddlers Association archives, The Robert D. Bethke Collection at TAUNY, Ivan Walton Collection, The Stevens-Douglass Manuscript, Todd-Sonkin
Collection at The American Folklife Center, Louis Jones Folklore Collection and Camp Woodland/Norman Studer Papers along with various home recordings, an obscure 1885 songster from Western NY and more.
Dave Ruch has performed all across North America, from Toronto ON to Austin TX, with a number of regionally- and nationally-known folk, rock and bluegrass artists. He is a “Speaker in the Humanities” for the New York Council for the Humanities, and has appeared at numerous regional folk music events and festivals including The New England Folk Festival/NEFFA (Natick & Mansfield MA), Golden Link Folksong Society (Rochester NY), Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance (Altamont NY), Dance Flurry (Saratoga Springs NY) and Cranberry Coffeehouse concert series (Binghamton NY).