The Mammals: 2018
The Mammals with John Platt in Studio A (photo by Jeremy Rainer/WFUV)
When Ruth Ungar, Mike Merenda and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger formed The Mammals in 2001, they were in the vanguard of the new progressive string bands, combining first-rate musicianship with a strong political message. After a half-dozen years and three studio albums, The Mammals went into hibernation, with Rodriguez-Seeger retreating from the music business and Merenda and Ungar continuing as Mike + Ruthy.
This year, with Rodriguez-Seeger's blessing, Merenda and Ungar have revived The Mammals and released the fine album, Sunshiner — continuing to make socially conscious music, but with a more inclusive attitude. As the parents of two kids, Merenda and Ungar are writing sweet, smart songs that urge us to care for each other and the planet, but also to have fun.
Their philosophy can be summed up as "think, dance, feel!" and it certainly comes across in this full-band session with The Mammals in Studio A.