Peter Madcat Ruth is a Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has established an international reputation through his exhilarating, riveting virtuosity on the harmonica. His expertise on this instrument has amazed audiences world-wide. Performance Magazine refers to him as "A harmonica virtuoso who is rapidly approaching legend status." But Madcat doesn't just play harmonica. He also sings and plays ukulele, guitar, high-hat, jaw-harp, penny-whistle, kalimba, and other folk instruments from around the world. Madcat's repertoire of styles includes Blues, American Roots Music, Folk Music, Jazz, and World Music.

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        Madcat's music has been evolving for over 60 years. It started in the Chicago area in the early 1960s, with Madcat playing folk/blues on guitar and harmonica. By the late 1960s, he had immersed himself in the Chicago Blues and was studying harmonica with Big Walter Horton. In the early 1970s, Madcat moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was a key presence in two of Ann Arbor's finest progressive rock bands: New Heavenly Blue and Sky King. By the mid 1970s, Madcat was touring the world with jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. In the 1980s, Madcat went solo infusing the folk/blues tradition with elements of rock and jazz. In 1990, Madcat teamed up with guitarist/singer Shari Kane to form the duo Madcat & Kane. For twenty-four years they toured nationally and internationally. And in 1998 Madcat teamed up with Chris Brubeck to form Triple Play and also started performing with Big Joe Manfra in Brazil.

       Madcat's experience is extensive. He has been an invited guest performer at many harmonica festivals in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. His harmonica playing is heard on over 130 CDs and LPs. National television and radio appearances, symphony orchestra performances, radio and television advertisements, and harmonica workshops all attest to Madcat's reputation as one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world.

     Madcat is more than an expert musician. He is also a performer who has such a good time playing music that audiences, ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, delight in his performances. His enthusiasm is unpretentious and contagious.

 Quotes about Madcat 

      "Madcat has got to be one of the greatest jazz soloists in terms of getting an audience. He's got that magical quality. It doesn't matter if he's playing a hoe-down kind of thing that evolves into a blues and pretty soon into jazz. Audiences here and overseas go with him all the way. He's into music without categories."

Dave Brubeck

       "A harmonica virtuoso rapidly approaching legend status for his style."

Performance Magazine

       "By any standard, Peter Ruth must be considered one of the greatest harmonica players of all time. His virtuosity on the diatonic harp is simply amazing!"

Richard Hunter

author of Jazz Harp, Oak Publications

        "Peter Madcat Ruth is a virtuoso harmonicist who blends a lot of soul with his amazing technique."

R.J. Deluke

allaboutjazz.com

 

       "Peter Madcat Ruth is a world class harmonica player whose technique approaches impossibility. He could coax a smile from a rock."

Judith White

The Saratogian

         "Peter Madcat Ruth is a harmonica player of faultless technique, imagination and delivery.

Melody Maker Magazine

         "Madcat is with out a doubt, one of the most phenomenal harmonica players that I have ever heard, and I've heard them all."

Jerry Murad

The Harmonicats

         "Madcat treads the line between control and abandon, a sure fire method for heating up a crowd."

Niel Tesser

         "Harmonica wizard Peter Madcat Ruth's wild blues playing sparked raucous approval and his quieter work was simply amazing."

Milwaukee Journal

         "Madcat plays some weird shit!"

Rick Estrin

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

Happy Hour.jpg

Neil Warren of the

Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

interviewed Madcat in June, 2020.

  That interview can be heard here