Ruth Ungar Merenda (born 1976, in New York) is a singer songwriter who performs with many folk bands. She also plays fiddle, ukulele and guitar. She is the daughter of Jay Ungar and Lyn Hardy.

She resides in the Hudson Valley of NY State with her husband Michael J. Merenda, Jr and their two children, Willy and Opal Merenda. In 2013 the couple launched a bi-annual music festival at the Ashokan Center called The Hoot.


Ruth currently records and performs with her husband Michael J. Merenda, Jr. in their duo Mike + Ruthy and with the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band (with Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and Michael J. Merenda, Jr.)

She performed 2001-2007 with The Mammals[1] (with Michael J. Merenda, Jr., Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Chris Merenda and Jacob Silver).

She sporadically records and tours with Sometymes Why (with Kristin Andreassen of Uncle Earl and Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still.)



  • Jukebox (2002)

The Mammals

  • Born Live (2001)
  • Evolver (2002)[1]
  • Migration (EP) (2004)
  • Rock That Babe (2004)
  • Departure (2006)

Sometymes Why

  • Sometymes Why (2005)
  • Your Heart is a Glorious Machine (2009)

Mike + Ruthy

  • The Honeymoon Agenda (2008)
  • Waltz of the Chickadee (2009)
  • Million to One (2010)
  • The NYC EP (2012)


She wrote the Contra dance The Wizard's Walk when she was about twelve. It is set to music by the same name composed by her father Jay Ungar.


  1. ^ a b "The Mammals Evolver". Yoga Journal (174): 185. May–June 2003. ISSN 0191-0965.