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Stella Ruze


  1. 1.
    Travel Song
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Long Underwear
  4. 4.
    The Greater Dog
  5. 5.
    Hustle the Load
Roots-Rock/Americana band Stella Ruze was founded in Philadelphia in 2014, where bandleaders Brendan Johnson & Katie O’Donnell frequently played dive bars and open mic nights.
The band wasn’t formed until the duo was introduced to keyboardist Mason Wallack and trumpet player Alex Styer. They called themselves Stella Ruze, embodying Johnson’s song themes of love lost & found, while paying homage to Styer’s New Orleans horn style, O’Donnell’s vocal harmonies, and melodic piano hooks from Wallack.
As a 4-piece, the band released two studio recordings. In 2016, they released So Here, featuring 8 songs written by Johnson and modified to fit the Stella Ruze mold. In 2017, Stella released a five-song, self-titled EP, receiving assistance from sound engineer & drummer, Matt Muir, and creative direction from Ben Arnold. Stella Ruze performed a sold-out EP release show on October 6th, 2017 at Milkboy Philadelphia with co-headliner Josiah Johnson from The Head and The Heart.
Since the EP’s release, Stella Ruze added accomplished blues drummer Sean McIntyre, bass guitar extraordinaire Ted Mayo, and saxophone player Vince Gleason, a lifelong member of the legendary Mummers group – Ferko String Band. The band has established a passionate fanbase and played shows with nationally-touring acts like Pete Francis of Dispatch, Kuinka, Midnight North, and Blue Water Highway. Stella Ruze performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in August 2019 as part of the Philadelphia Folksong Society.


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