Mary Bomar and Bob Ritter have been performing their brand of contemporary folk music since 1989, when they met in Nashville, Tennessee. They quickly became known for their exceptional vocals and harmonies, intricate guitar arrangements and easygoing stage manner. They are veteran performers in variety of venues, including Nashville's Bluebird Café, The Acoustic Sounds Café in Little Rock, Arkansas, The 9th Street Bakery in Durham, North Carolina, and The Hedgehog Music Showcase in Arcadia, Indiana, to name a few. Mary (Cismont, VA) and Bob (Indianapolis, IN) have shared billing with or opened shows for country star Billy Dean, acclaimed folk artist Kate Campbell, bluegrass legends Eddie and Martha Adcock, Grand Ole Opry performer Jim Smoak, and Grammy Award winning gospel group, The Blackwoods. Mary started her performing career in Charlottesville as a solo act and later with local favorites "Backstreet Mission" and "Watchtower", before moving to Nashville, first in 1978-79, and again in 1985. She is an extremely versatile vocalist, easily holding the audience with a tender ballad, and then knocking them off their seats with a rocking blues number. She has written music for and sung in several documentaries, including "Lady Liberty - A Musical Salute", narrated by Hal Linden. She also had a brief appearance as a guitar-playing mom in the motion picture "Trading Mom", starring Sissy Spacek and Maureen Stapleton. Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt and Ray Charles are a few of the artists who have influenced Mary's music. Bob began performing in the Indianapolis area in a band and then in an acoustic duo, later joining "Acoustic Avenue" before moving to Nashville in 1988. An adept guitarist, he is known for his honest and unpretentious presentation, and for strong visual images and storytelling lyrics in his songs. The music of Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor and Neil Young strongly influenced Bob's writing and performing. Bomar & Ritter's debut CD, The First Step, is a collection of songs that invite the listener to think about life and relationships. Songs that inspire, like the CD's title cut and By My Side, to the retrospective Backroads and Spirit Of The Man, love songs like Rainbow and You Are The Love Of My Life, to the wistful Anna Be Mine and the haunting Leave Me, provide a pallet of music that appeals to all ages. The project was produced by renowned Nashville bassist Dave Pomeroy, and features Pomeroy on bass, noted percussionist Sam Bacco (Nashville Symphony) and pianist Lee Carroll (formerly of Exile). In the mid 1990's Bomar & Ritter scaled back on regular performing to develop a creative writing and music program for school children. That program became what is now called Lyrics Alive, a 4-day artist in residency program, which targets elementary school students. This unique program not only teaches the elements of lyric and songwriting, but also shows how important teamwork, cooperation and goal setting are in achieving anything. Two days are spent in the classroom writing and editing, one day is spent rehearsing and the final day is the concert day, where one or two concerts are performed for the entire school and community. The concerts are recorded and CD's are made available to the students. Over the years, Mary and Bob have conducted 84 four-day programs, have written over 700 songs, and recorded about 64 "live" concert CD's with thousands of children. Countless students have been profoundly and positively affected by their Lyrics Alive experience. In June 2002, Mary and Bob bought a house in rural southeast Indiana on land once owned by Bob's great-great grandfather. From this inspiring location they continue to write and record (a new CD is on the way), and are back to regular performing and touring, especially during the summer and fall.
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