"Aaron Nathans and Michael G. Ronstadt are among the best of the younger generation of performers on the music scene, mixing folk and country music, and giving creative meaning to mostly acoustic pieces with arrangements that are original, promising and push the boundaries.
This is their second record, a follow up to "Crooked Fiddle" and it follows a career and lives full of new experiences both on the road and in life. Nathans & Ronstadt have achieved excellent cohesion with this new album "Hang On For The Ride." The new recording confirms all the maturity and depth of songs as they honestly tell all the contrasts of life, exalting the often emotional highs and lows that are found among joys, sorrows and hopes.
The production of this album is brilliant and full of instrumental solutions based on Aaron Nathans' guitars and Michael G. Ronstadt's cello, often intertwining in a fascinating way as in the first cut 'Northwind' in which the "waltz time" immediately prepares us for the mood of the album; thoughtful but at the same time stimulating.
The title cut 'Hang On For The Ride' is among the 'highlights' of a never-ending and renowned selection on these 12 tracks, using a handful of songs that will absolutely be remembered as in 'Turncoat Peanut' where irony and dark fascination materializes, giving way to the likeness of a Tom Waits tune or 'Undone' with its arrangements and the involvement of the cello that masterfully guides the melody.
'The Strength To Not Fight Back' has the strong and proud legacy, well crafted of the best folk tradition, 'Old Film' is nostalgic and relaxed. 'Another One Bites The Dust' (yes that one!) is completely and craftily overturned and made into a murder ballad full of swing. 'Peace & Safety' and 'Run Run Away' are a wonderfully indefinable original mix of tradition and contemporary arrangements.
Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt have produced a disc that gives the listener a precise appreciation of traditional and experimental and unusual roots. This well crafted album of 12 songs is dedicated to listeners who enjoy the boundaries of genres to be pushed and experienced new ways."
Remo Ricaldone Lonestar Time - Italy
MORE ABOUT AARON & MICHAEL
For two artists who believe in challenging themselves, making the same album twice was out of the question. For a follow-up project, they would channel the immediacy of their live shows, which are always exciting events. They would push themselves musically, with complex orchestral arrangements that sound deceptively simple.
And in keeping with their commitment to honesty, the music would reflect the challenging times during which it was made. The recording of this project paused last summer when Michael’s father and namesake, the great Michael J. Ronstadt, died.
The resulting album is a portrait of contrasts, darkness, and light: young love, ghostly photographs of old friends long gone, and the urge to run away to find peace and safety. Nathans & Ronstadt venture into lyrical corners other songwriters would never dare: peanut allergies, or climate change rendered as a hallucinogenic carousel ride. The Queen classic “Another One Bites the Dust” is recast as a jazzy murder ballad.
The title track talks of hanging on through tough times. And the leadoff song, by the elder Ronstadt, is a vision of making one’s way through the snowy North, as seen through sun-kissed Southwestern eyes.
"Aaron Nathans and Michael G Ronstadt are very unique and distinctive songwriting entities who have joined forces to marvelous result. Their new CD "Hang On for the Ride" is a fascinating look into an outstanding musical partnership!" Joltin' Joe - Radio Nowhere
Michael, who hails from his famous Arizona family, now lives in Cincinnati, where he is a sought-after cello teacher and mentor. He is also a member of the Ronstadt Brothers (formerly Ronstadt Generations) and Serenity Fisher & The Cardboard Hearts, and also works with Craig Bickhardt and David Trotta.
Aaron lives with his family in greater Philly. He also performs solo and, along with Avi Wisnia, founded and leads the Philly Songwriters Circle, a song critique group. He has been a Kerrville New Folk finalist.
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