Muddy Ruckus is a nationally touring americana-rock duo from Portland, Maine. The stripped down power duo features guitarist Ryan Flaherty and percussionist Erika Stahl. Muddy Ruckus blends haunting male/female vocals, rootsy guitar and edgy percussion on a suitcase drum kit. The band seasons their music with the salt of the eastern old ports and the mud of the Mississippi River where Flaherty grew up, creating an epic blend of bluesy folk rock, foot stomping rhythms and haunting vocal melodies. The New York Music Daily calls Muddy Ruckus “Darkly Inventive Americana”. In April 2016, Muddy Ruckus was dubbed “Best in State of Maine” by the New England Music Awards.
Muddy Ruckus’ music is a fat blend of subterranean grooves, punk-folk and electric suitcase rock. Flaherty, originally from Rock Island, IL, met Stahl in 2013 in Portland Maine. They played on porches, street corners and campfires and became Muddy Ruckus. They would rehearse on the road, in the car, at shows and in the studio. The duo continues to pull inspiration from the music they love – old-timey folk music, dirty electric blues, circa 1940 hot swing and rock n roll – dressing it with Dylan-esque lyrics that poke fun at society and poetically examine the state of the world. Muddy Ruckus released their debut album in September, 2014. The New York Daily calls it “Darkly inventive americana.” Maine Today says “Muddy Ruckus’s self-titled debut album touches on the sacred, hints at the profane and encapsulates everything in between, all to the sound of an infectiously toe-tapping backbeat.”
Muddy Ruckus is releasing a brand new album “Pretty Bones” in June, 2016. Erika and Ryan worked on this album for 8 months in 2015 with limited rehearsal space, developing most of the album on the road, at shows and in the studio. Living in an apartment throughout 2015, the band struggled with noise complaints from neighbors and was just not able to be loud enough to fully develop at home. Despite outer reluctance, the band prevailed with finishing the album and recently moved to a brand new dwelling where they are now allowed to practice and create at full capacity. This album is the reflection of those days, and everything that happened in between, when the band was still searching for the exit out of the restrictive yet life giving womb. The duo is now officially born, and the hints of rock layered over folk and old timey music on ‘Pretty Bones’ are only soft reflections of what’s to come from Muddy Ruckus. The lyrics call for your attention and the soul-fullness of both Erika and Ryan’s vocals draw in the salt and shadow of the bands murky beginnings and luminous future.
The duo was twice nominated for the New England Music Awards and voted “Best In State of Maine” in 2016. The duo was included in Daytrotter’s “Best songs of 2014”. Muddy Ruckus has gone on to record three Daytrotter sessions over the past year. The band tours regularly and has performed several shows with other renowned touring artists, including “Family Spirit Reunion”, “Elephant Revival” and “Dan Blakeslee” just to name a few.