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Sour Grapes' Press Bios

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Sour Grapes' Reviews

“Earlier in the afternoon, an unusual duo called Sour Grapes played a set that proved the old saying about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The Grapes (appropriately clad in purple) were each proficient multi-instrumentalists: Larry Ruhl plays guitar and harmonica, while Ellen Iovino played a pair of congas. They split the vocal duties down the middle, trading off the lead and toying with harmonies. Just when it seemed like they both had their hands full, they started, well, tapdancing! Turns out the pair had an ace up their sleeve in the form of tap shoes, which they used in a massive tap breakdown in the center of their most overtly political song. It was like vaudeville cheerleader protest folk -- which is funky enough to get a smile out of me.”
- Dan Barry, Hartford Advocate, September 2005, Performance Review
“Larry and Ellen have an eclectic, high-energy sound that crosses the sound and vocal agility of Rusted Root with the good-natured JOY of... of what? I don't really know - it's not jam band altered-state amiability, and it's not pre-planned and coldly executed folk fun... it was something that reminded me of my old partner, Audrey, and something that reminded me of sledding... joyriding down a hill and laughing with the sheer frenetic joy of it.

Sour Grapes really was anything BUT their name. Ellen is one Hell of a percussionist, one Hell of a vocalist. Larry is a great harmonica player, and they both have some rapid-fire vocal abilities and an almost Brazilian rhythmic sensibility. And add to that their REAL hook - tap dancing. I'm going to leave it there, cause I can't do it all justice - I'm hoping we can drag them down to Maryland at some point. Y'all would enjoy them muchly.”
- Ilyaimy Trip Journal, May 2005

“Sour Grapes brought something completely different. Ellen Iovino plays the congas (not bongos!) and Larry Ruhl strums acoustic and blows harmonica, while both sing, and both tap dance. That's right, I said Tap Dance. Residents of Connecticut, they bring their own floor and tap shoes, and punctuate their rollicking songs with persuasive percussion. The overall effect is of a 21st Century vaudeville act, and anyone who can sit through their set without a smile creeping onto their face must be extremely depressed. This self-described "tribal folk" duo will "try anything to get you up to dance," but also warn that there is "absolutely no nude dancing in here."
- Alan Civil, Aural Fix Magazine, April 2005, Performance Review
Ellen Iovino and Larry Ruhl are like the White Stripes of the hippie rock scene. The Sour Grapes duo bangs out stripped-down acoustic rock that is buoyed by rich vocal harmonies and tap dancing.

We're treated to songs about making love in the early evening ("Meet Me In The Middle), trolling for guys in Hartford (the suggestively titled "Hot Dog Man") and what it's like to play for people in the nutmeg state ("All Around Connecticut"). All in all, an excellent change of pace played well and with a lot of heart.
- Thomas Pizzola, The Hartford Advocate June 10, 2004, CD Review

Excellent singing and songwriting combined with "tap dance" percussion make "Sour Grapes" one of the more unique duets around.
- Joe Budnick, President, Underground Music Organization, NYC,, 2/1/2004, Performance Review
“Combining rootsy, lyric-centered, acoustic foundations and vocal harmonies with nontraditional percussion (congas and tap shoes), the group blends pop-folk sensibilities with an added rhythmic twist. The cd is packed with infectious songs that are incredibly engaging because of the sweet vocal melodies and harmonies”
- Kevin Lamkins, WWUH Program Guide, March/April 2001, CD Review
"Sour Grapes try to make use of as much sound as they can… from tapping shoes, neck harmonica, guitar, cymbals welded to the bongoes. Both of the musicians sing. If you think about it, that’s one weird orchestra."
- Chris Lough, The New Haven Advocate, Performance Review
“If you haven't seen Sour Grapes, you haven't seen the most unique band to visit Bands on the Road… Take this eclectic mix of instruments, add some fun lyrics, them wrap it around a fun groove, and you have what Sour Grapes calls "Tribal Folk". Not only is Sour Grapes’ music fun, nicely arranged, interesting, but the band exudes a certain spirit that just makes you want to smile and tap along.”
- Paul Cappa, Sound Engineer, Bands on the Road, Win-TV
“There’s a liveliness to your music and that’s what grabbed me in the club when I saw you.”
- Glen Hochstetter, WPKN, Bridgeport, live broadcast
“Sour Grapes brings an eclectic style with an enchanting message. Acts like this are truly rare, so come check out these Sour Grapes.”
- Nico VanYperen, General Manager, Lighthouse Café, Guilford, CT

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