ruff2001

Speaking In Melodies…

Michael Ruff is the kind of musical artist whom everyone likes to “discover” and turn their friends onto. A consumate singer, songwriter and keyboardist, Ruff shows off his finely-honed skills on his second American album, the appropriately-titled Speaking in Melodies on the Sheffield Lab label.

Michael Ruff’s talent has during the past decade serving as the concert music director for Chaka Kahn, David Sanborn and Rickie Lee Jones; as band member with Lionel Ritchie, Brenda Russell, Karla Bonoff, Jose Feliciano, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, Randy Vanwarmer, The Wynans, The Beckmeir Brothers and members of Rufus; and performer on-stage with Al Jarreau, Kal David, Gerald Albright and Michael Paulo.

Ruff also is known as a hot songwriter for artists such as Bonnie Raitt (“Cry On My Shoulder” on” her multi-Platinum Nick of Time album), Huey Lewis (“That’s Not Me”), Roberta Flack (“More Than You’ll Ever Know’ and “Thought I Knew It All”), Vonda Shepard (“A New Marilyn”), Karla Bonoff (“All Walk Alone”), David Sanborn, Carl Anderson, Kal David and Chaka Kahn.

Michael was born in Salt Lake City, but spent his school years growing up in Boston and Manchester, Connecticut. He began playing piano at three and was considered a prodigy by his teachers.

In high school, Michael played in various groups that performed either blues, Top 40 or R&B. At 17, he was touring the east coast behind James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and other blues acts.

A year later he joined Don Moore and backed this singer-songwriter in New York City clubs and Catskill Mountains resorts. “He encouraged me to start writing songs ” Michael spent a couple of years living in Woodstock where he played with artists like Orleans, Paul Butterfield and David Sanborn.

Ruff moved to New York City, met Randy Vanwarmer, toured with him and played on his album with musicians such as Tony Levin and Shane Fontaine.

Ruff moved to Los Angeles where he recorded two albums with The Beckmeir Brothers and began doing session work with other artists.

“My first big break came when I toured with Jose Feliciano. We went all over the world and I felt like I had made it because I didn’t have to set up the equipment on stage “.

When Michael was in his early twenties, he went on tour with Karla Bonoff and then became the musical director for Rickie Lee Jones on her two-year-long “Pirates Tour.” “She’s a brilliant perfectionist, and a spontaneous performer. She was a big influence on me.”

Ruff recorded some demos with Brenda Russell and then began playing with an R&B band in Los Angeles that included members of Rufus (Andre Fischer, Bobby Watson, Tony Maiden). Artists like Gerald Albright and Michael Paulo sat in with the group regularly. Brenda brought producer Tommy LiPuma (George Benson, Michael Franks, The Crusaders, etc.) to see Michael perform which resulted in a contract with Warner Bros. Records and Ruff’s first album, Once In A Lifetime, produced by LiPuma.

Michael became Chaka Kahn’s musical director and put together a top-notch band for her “I Feel For You Tour.” Ruff served as musical director for David Sanborn on an international tour that also featured Al Jarreau. Michael co-wrote and sang on the tune “Lesley Ann” on Sanborn’s “Close-Up” album. Ruff then toured with Laura Branigan, performed on several albums by the gospel group The Wynans, and did a lengthy tour with Lionel Ritchie.

Discography

You Are My Song

Ruffmix Music 2011

Tracks: Life Is Sweet, Your Love Is Like The Rain, Message Of The Cross, Lift My Praise, Hallelujah Jesus Is The Lord, Look What The Lord Has Done, Song Of My Heart, Perfect Holy One, You Rescued Me, Power In The Blood & You Are My Song.

Musicians on the You Are My Song album: Michael Ruff, Chris Coleman, Tris Imboden, Joseph Henry Cortese, Steve Gadd, Peter Pop, Stu Sherman, Toontrack, James Harrah, Jim Hollingsworth, Kirby Keough, Marty Walsh, Danny Morris, Trey Thompson, Olivia Ruff, Celia Ruff, Fred Aki & Kent Chastain.

Acoustic Trios

Ruffmix Music 2010

Tracks: Rhythm Of The Rain, Cry On My Shoulder, Jordu, I’ll Be There, Listen To Your Woman, Time To Heal, Wasila Blues, When It’s Cold Outside, Route 56 & Jaberwacky.

Musicians on the Acoustic Trios album: Michael Ruff, Anthony Rodarte, Magdi (Mike) Latif, Trey Thompson, Darryl Myasato, Olivia Ruff, Sara Thompson & Bob Francescini.

Waters Of Love – Gospel Live!

Ruffmix Music 2006

Tracks: On My Knees, Bring You To Jesus, If You Only Knew Him, There Is A Savior, Faith, Wonderful Jesus, Waters Of Love, Testimony, Have You Seen A Change, Pray With Me & On My Knees Jam.

Musicians on the Waters Of Love – Gospel Live! album: Michael Ruff, Joey Heradia, Marco Mendoza, Renato Neto, Andrew Gouche, James Harrah, Gannon Arnold, Jerry Shanahan, Alex Acuna, Maxi Anderson, Bridgette Bryant Blades, Alex Brown, John Holley, Maxayne Lewis, Olivia Ruff, Leslie Smith, Tata Vega, Eric Gilliom & Fiji.

Feels Good

Ruffmix Music 2006

Tracks: Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind, Shake A Little, Girl Like You, Morning Sun, I Feel Good, You Don’t Love Me, Treat Me Like A Child, No Ordinary Day, Be So Shy, In This Life, Wishing Well.

Musicians on the Feels Good album: Michael Ruff, Joey Heradia, Marco Mendoza & Renato Neto.

Lovesongs + Lullabies

Ruffmix Music 2006

Tracks: Wasting the Rain, Wonderful Life, More than you’ll ever know, Leave the light on, I’ll always believe in you, Listen to the moonlight, Marie, Thoughts of you, Not without you & Angels Lullaby.

Musicians on the Lovesongs + Lullabies album: Michael Ruff, Marty Walsh, Stephen Oberhoff, Lake Patey, Garin Poliahu, Joey Heredia, Andrew Gouche, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Inamini, Marty Trefe, Donald Hayes, Arnold McCuller, Rosemary Butler, Maxyn & Leslie Smith.

Love Never Fades

Ruffmix Music 2005

Tracks: Love Never Fades, When It´s Cold Outside, Poet´s Son, On This Day, The Way A Woman Works, How Special You Are, In The Hands Of God, Celia Luna, The Time Is Right, God Bless The Child, Waltz & Stella By Starlight.

Musicians on the Love Never Fades album: Michael Ruff.

Everything

Ruffmix Music 2005

Tracks: El Asador, Grace, Jazz Sermon, Everything, The Meaning Of Love, Show The World, Just A Moment Alone, Charity, Cold Rain, I Don´t Know Love & Chili Pepper Chicken.

Musicians on the everything album: Michael Ruff, Joey Heredia, Renato Neto, Marco Mendoza, Olivia Ruff & James Harrah.

Live At My Place

Owit Music 2003

Tracks: Once In A Lifetime, Beside Myself, Missing Child Song, Any Less Than This, Wishing Well, Come Together, Thought I Knew It All, Lovers Mask, Just Tell Me If You Want Me To Go, Cry On My Shoulder, What Kind Of World Is This, Yesterday & Whats Going On.

Musicians on the Michael Ruff Band Live album: Michael Ruff, Per Lindvall, Lars Danielsson, Henrik Janson, Nils Landgren, David Wilczewski, Leslie Smith & Dee Dee Belson

Michael Ruff Band

Owit Music 2003

Tracks: Cryin´ All Over The World, I´d Still Be Loving You, Any Less Than This, What Kind Of World Is This?, Seeing For The Very First Time, Talkin´ To Myself, Once In A Lifetime, Come Together, Watching Like Angels, Stars In My Eyes & Tribute To You.

Musicians on the Michael Ruff Band album: Michael Ruff, Nadia Ruff, Leslie Smith, Nils Landgren, Henrik Janson, Lars Danielsson, Jacob Andersen & Per Lindvall.

Show The World

Ruffmix Music 2001

Tracks: Show The World, When You Come Home, Bring You To Jesus, Just A Moment Alone, Listen To Your Woman, Hanalei, Savannah, Tesimony, Standing On The Rock & Heaven Bound.

Musicians on the Show The World album: Michael Ruff, Marty Walsh, James Harrah, Tim Pierce, Kenny Emerson, Jimmy Johnson, Joey Heredia, Leslie Smith, Maxayn Lewis, Mark Lennon, Michael Lennon and others.

Lovesongs + Lullabies

Lionheart International 1999

Tracks: Wasting the Rain, Wonderful Life, More than you’ll ever know, Leave the light on, I’ll always believe in you, Listen to the moonlight, Marie, Thoughts of you, Not without you & Angels Lullaby.

Musicians on the Lovesongs + Lullabies album: Michael Ruff, Marty Walsh, Stephen Oberhoff, Lake Patey, Garin Poliahu, Joey Heredia, Andrew Gouche, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Inamini, Marty Trefe, Donald Hayes, Arnold McCuller, Rosemary Butler, Maxyn & Leslie Smith.

Lovesongs + Lullabies

Ruffmix Music 1999

Tracks: Wasting the Rain, Wonderful Life, More than you’ll ever know, Leave the light on, I’ll always believe in you, Listen to the moonlight, Marie, Thoughts of you, Not without you & Angels Lullaby.

Musicians on the Lovesongs + Lullabies album: Michael Ruff, Marty Walsh, Stephen Oberhoff, Lake Patey, Garin Poliahu, Joey Heredia, Andrew Gouche, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Inamini, Marty Trefe, Donald Hayes, Arnold McCuller, Rosemary Butler, Maxyn & Leslie Smith.

I´ll Be There

BMG Records 1999

Tracks: I´ll Be There & I´ll Be There (background version).

Musicians on the I´ll Be There album: Michael Ruff, Jill Johnson, Leslie Smith, Dorign Holley, Carolyn Perry, Ricky Nelson, Lori Perry, Sharon Perry, Darlene Perry, Maxayn Lewis, Bridgeffo Bryant, Almqvist, Ulf Janson and others.

Girl Like You

Artist Without A Label 1996

Tracks: Shake A Little, Girl Like You, You Walk Away, Talking To Myself, I’d Still Be Loving You, More Than You’ll Ever Know, Be So Shy, That’s Not Me, Cry On My Shoulder & Treat Me Like A Child.

Musicians on the Girl Like You album: Michael Ruff and others.

Feels Good

Easy Records 1996

Tracks: Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind, Shake A Little, Girl Like You, Morning Sun, I Feel Good, You Don’t Love Me, Treat Me Like A Child, No Ordinary Day, Be So Shy, In This Life & Wishing Well.

Musicians on the Feels Good album: Michael Ruff, Joey Heradia, Marco Mendoza & Renato Neto.

Shake A Little

Border Music 1995

Tracks: Shake A Little, You Walk Away, Be So Shy & Cry On My Shoulder.

Musicians on the Shake A Little album: Michael Ruff, Joey Heredia, Marco Mendoza, Renato Neto, Marty Walsh, Mark Lennon, Leslie Smith & Jeff Pevar.

Speaking In Melodies

Sheffield Lab 1993

Tracks: What Kind Of World, Lover’s Mask, I Will Find You There, The Eyes Of Love, Seeing For The Very First Time, Any Less Than This, That’s Not Me, Poor Boy, Watching Like Angels, Beside Myself, Wishing Well, More Than You’ll Ever Know & I Will Find You There (Complete Performance Version).

Musicians on the Speaking In Melodies album: Michael Ruff, Per Lindvall, Lars Danielsson, Luis Conte, Mike Shapiro, Henrik Janson, Nadia Ruff, Leslie Smith, Mark Lennon, Pat Coil, Dean Parks, Nils Landgren, Greg Mathieson, Abraham Laboriel, Alex Acuna, Lenny Castro, Michael Fisher, Jerry Petersen, John Robinson & Leland Sklar.

Speaking In Melodies

Sheffield Lab 1993

Tracks: What Kind Of World, Lover’s Mask, I Will Find You There, The Eyes Of Love, Seeing For The Very First Time, Any Less Than This, That’s Not Me, Poor Boy, Watching Like Angels, Beside Myself, Wishing Well, More Than You’ll Ever Know & I Will Find You There (Jam).

Musicians on the Speaking In Melodies album: Michael Ruff, Per Lindvall, Lars Danielsson, Luis Conte, Mike Shapiro, Henrik Janson, Nadia Ruff, Leslie Smith, Mark Lennon, Pat Coil, Dean Parks, Nils Landgren, Greg Mathieson, Abraham Laboriel, Alex Acuna, Lenny Castro, Michael Fisher, Jerry Petersen, John Robinson & Leland Sklar.

Michael Ruff Band

Pladekompagniet 1992

Tracks: Cryin´ All Over The World, I´d Still Be Loving You, Any Less Than This, What Kind Of World Is This?, Seeing For The Very First Time, Talkin´ To Myself, Once In A Lifetime, Come Together, Watching Like Angels, Stars In My Eyes & Tribute To You.

Musicians on the Michael Ruff Band album: Michael Ruff, Nadia Ruff, Leslie Smith, Nils Landgren, Henrik Janson, Lars Danielsson, Jacob Andersen & Per Lindvall.

Michael Ruff

LA Califusa Records 1988

Tracks: That´s Not Me, Love´s Got A Hold On Me, Poor Boy, More Than Ever, Think About You, More Than You´ll Ever Know & I´d Still Be Loving You.

Musicians on the Michael Ruff album: Michael Ruff, Snuffy Walden, Jimmy Haun, Peter Framton, David Williams, James Harrah, Buzzy Feiten, Jimmy Johnson, Cliff Hugo, Ralph Humpfrey, Armond Grimaldi, Per Lindvall, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Vonda Shepard, Mark Lennon, Kip Lennon, Brandon Fields, Nils Landgren & Paulinho Da Costa.

Michael Ruff

LA Califusa Records 1988

Tracks: That´s Not Me, Love´s Got A Hold On Me, Poor Boy, More Than Ever, Think About You, More Than You´ll Ever Know & I´d Still Be Loving You.

Musicians on the Michael Ruff album: Michael Ruff, Snuffy Walden, Jimmy Haun, Peter Framton, David Williams, James Harrah, Buzzy Feiten, Jimmy Johnson, Cliff Hugo, Ralph Humpfrey, Armond Grimaldi, Per Lindvall, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Vonda Shepard, Mark Lennon, Kip Lennon, Brandon Fields, Nils Landgren & Paulinho Da Costa.

Once In A Lifetime

Warner Bros 1984

Tracks: Walkin´ With Somebody, Hometown, Let Her Stay, Love Go Around, Once In A Lifetime, Don´t Ever Say Goodbye, Ariel, Dedication & More Than You´ll Ever Know.

Musicians on the Once In A Lifetime album: Michael Ruff, Andre Fisher, Bobby Watson, Donald Griffin, Joe Turano, Vonda Shepard, Steve Gadd, Abraham Laboriel, Hugh McCracken, Dean Parks, Jeff Pevar, Paulinho Da Costa, Howard Smith, Hamish Stuart, Larry John McNally, Brenda Russell, Adie Gray, John Robinson, Jimmy Haslip, Mike Miller, Jim Gilstrap, Darayl Phinessee, David Sanborn, Larry Williams, Jimmy Johnson & Snuffy Walden.

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