Richard Ruane’s songwriting has received wide recognition. He has been a finalist or award-winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition, the Great Waters Music Festival Songwriter Contest, the Plowshares Coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter Competition, the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and the SolarFest Songwriter Showcase.
He has been a Vermont-based musician since leaving college. He helped form the acoustic quartet “Feast or Famine”, spending four years touring throughout the Northeast and the Mid-West. They recorded an album called “Brecon Beacon” on the Philo/Fretless label. Ruane played mandolin, mandola, banjo and guitar in that band, wrote much of their material and sang most of the lead vocals. After that band broke up he spent the next few years traveling with the world-beat band “Sundog”, again writing much of their material, singing most of the lead vocals and playing electric mandolin.
After the breakup of that band, he spent a number of years playing occasional shows and doing session work but primarily working behind the scenes of the acoustic music culture in Vermont, running sound and helping out with festivals and concerts. During that time he began working with the Middlebury Festival on the Green and also helped start the Ripton Community Coffee House. He is currently the President of the Middlebury Festival on the Green and the Executive Director of the Ripton Community Coffee House.
In 2001 he released the album “Things That Strangers Say” under his own name. That album included many musical friends, including the former members of Feast or Famine and the future members of Bread and Bones. The trio Bread and Bones formed to support his solo CD and continued to perform together until 2012. They released two albums, "I Know Stories" and "Could Have Been a Dream". Except for one songwriting collaboration with Beth Duquette, he wrote all the original music on the Bread and Bones recordings.
Beth Duquette has always had a strong passion for music. She began her performing career with the acapella group Womensing around 1990. They performed a mixture of vocal music from around the world. When Richard Ruane did some split-bill shows with Womensing, a few members of Womensing, including Duquette, joined him on a couple songs in his set. Later she agreed to sing on Ruane’s CD, “Things That Strangers Say” and also to join the band formed to support the CD. That group later slimmed down to the trio Bread and Bones, with the bassist Mitch Barron as well as Duquette and Ruane. They recorded two CDs of their own, “I Know Stories” and “Could Have Been a Dream”.
Duquette continued to perform with Womensing for a number of years and also performed for several years with the Michele Fay Band.
Duquette has also been very actively involved in presenting music in Vermont. She is on the selection committee for the Middlebury Festival on the Green, a week-long series of afternoon and evening concerts held every July in Middlebury, Vermont. She is also in charge of booking for the Ripton Community Coffee House, a monthly concert series held at the Ripton Community House in Ripton, Vermont.
She and Richard Ruane have been performing as a duo since 2013 and in 2018 they have their first CD, "Notch Road".