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Stella Ruze – “Open”
-This is a bit more up tempo, more toward the folk rock style. It’s got a Tom Petty flavor to it at times and I’m not mad about that. The rollicking vibe makes it feel like a fun Friday night out with friends. There’s some common folk philosophy about opening your heart here that fits well with the overall approach. That organ and horn work — swooooon.
Stella Ruze just announced that they’ll return with their next album, The Greater Dog, in the new year. The seven-piece folk/roots-rock band led by Brendan Johnson and Katie O’Donnell formed in Manayunk in 2014, and shared their debut LP two years later. The Greater Dog will be the band’s first release since their 2017 self-titled EP.
The Greater Dog‘s lead single, “Open,” is out now, and the band also shared a music video filmed by Skyler Jenkins, that sets tour footage to the upbeat song. Watch the band as they travel the open road, play shows — including the stellar set The Key caught at Philadelphia Folk Fest in August — and record their new tunes in the studio.
By Anna Orso, Billy Penn
“Who’s Next Because: Stella Ruze has years of experience performing gigs in bars and parties across Philadelphia while lead vocalist Brendan Johnson sings and trumpet calls linger. Their performances are highlighted by steady guitar grooves and fiery interplay between trumpet and keyboard, and choruses bring the entire band together in four-part harmonies.”
By Joseph Bloss, The Key
“But the band is able to fulfill that self-supplied label with the genre-crossing sound it prides itself so heavily on. Folky vibes line the vocal harmonies of Brendan Johnson and Katie Burke and their string work on mandolin and guitar. The Lumineers tag is prevalent in songs like “Chivalry” and “Windows,” while the similarities to Trombone Shorty are more obviously heard in brass numbers like “Somebody Told Me.” And with keyboard work from Mason Wallack, the sound is completed to occupy something at the intersection of folk, jazz, and pop.”