Ron Fetner's songs combine southern roots, soulful songwriting with contemporary folk storytelling. This musical path led to wins at the prestigious Kerrville NewFolk, the (2x)Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, and awards at Merlefest’s Chris Austin Song Contest. Along the way Ron released 6 CD’s with the latest release in 2017 when he revisited his musical roots, with “BlueHouse Project”. According to Roots Music Report Charts, Ron/BlueHouse Project reached #4 (June, 2017) with “White Cotton” and #25 (July 2017) with “Piece of the My Heart”. “…This irrepressible guitarist and singer draws on traditional folk, southeastern roots music and early blues and jazz to create his own earnest brand of Americana” Connect Savannah News, Savannah, GA
Here’s what folks are saying:
“…truly was phenomenal, overwhelming…a unique blend of New England folk and the soul of the South.” – Barry Graham, “Acoustic Highway”, WHRV.
“They play with a heartwarming energy that’s as comfortable to bask in as a fire on a chilly Halloween night…musicians provide a Project of soul-food blues rock…The earthy BlueHouse Project will satisfy those who yearn for clear an
d simple ensemble blues”
– Rainey Wetnight-Blues Blast Magazine
It's an absolutely beautifully done (CD), backed by silk-like rhythm with sultry sax and mesmeric guitar”, “excellent first impression, all outstanding”, –Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro / Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
“After the first listen to the album, I was pretty well hooked...very comfortable with rocking numbers, quiet sentimental blues, and even a flat-out instrumental...demonstrating that they are at home in just about every sub-genre of the blues”, – John Porter “Time For The Blues”
Ron performs solo, or as duo/trio and with BlueHouse Project.
Doc Watson’s, Merlefest/Chris Austin Song Contest finalist (x3)
Winner-Gold-Mid Atlantic Songwriting Contest (x2)
Winner- Austin Songwriter Group (x2)
Falcon Ridge's Emerging Artist Showcase
Growing up in the Washington, DC suburbs of Northern Virginia, Ron’s earliest access to roots music was what was playing on top 40 am-radio at the time. Ron says that every once in a while, they would play Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed or Barrett Strong (Money), and definitely early Memphis stuff. Ron also became a big fan of Mississippi John Hurt and the Everly Brothers, with their combination of rock, country and folk. “They were one of the first artists I noticed that were writing some of their own songs. I also loved their record production, arrangements, and guitar tones. I was just starting to learn guitar so it was all very inspiring.”
After high school Ron headed off to Berklee School of Music. While at Berklee, Ron did a short tour as the guitarist for the Dixie Cups. Attending Berklee for only one year when he had the opportunity to join a full time working band. After 3 years of road work, Ron then teamed up with some other DC area musicians to work on original material. That band caught the attention of ABC Dunhill. “Our demo made it all the way up the ladder to the desk of Steve Barri (early Steely Dan, Grass Roots) before they passed on us. It was disappointing at first, but we knew we were on the right path. Plus, I got to spend some time in the studio working on the demos.” Next, Ron was invited to join “Cherry Smash”, one of DC ‘s top working bands. Cherry Smash recorded an album that was never released due to management problems, but Ron had penned two songs for that project.
In 1997, after years of paying his musical dues, Ron finally had enough original songs under his belt to release his first solo CD entitled "This Box I'm Looking Through". Acoustic/Public Radio quickly took notice and started playing songs from that CD, including NPR’s “The Folk Sampler with Mike Flynn” and WHRO/Barry Graham’s “Acoustic Highway”. Ron was also named a winner in the 6th Songwriters Association of Washington’s Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, country category.
Ron released "Turning for Home" in 2001. That same year, Ron won the prestigious Kerrville NewFolk competition. “Home” contained the award-winning song “On the Road to Chestertown”. He released "Defying Gravity" in 2005. "Gravity" included the widely popular “Man on the Moon” and the holiday favorite, "My Name is Justin". "Sunday Morning Blue" followed in 2009. "Sunday Morning" included Ron’s versions of "Route 66" and "Wayfaring Stranger”, along with newly written songs like "Don't Burn the Zion Church" and “Carolina Rain”, both award winners.
Following were awards at Doc Watson's/Merlefest Chris Austin Song Contest, Falcon Ridge's Emerging Artist Showcase, and the Austin Songwriter Group.
In January 2011, Ron and harpist Tom Dikon teamed to win the Tidewater IBC Blues Challenge and headed off to Memphis for the finals. Tom and Ron released the "Watch Your Step" EP. Next in 2012 Ron was offered the opportunity to play and sing on blues great, Eddie Shaw's award-winning CD, "Still Riding High".
Now to 2017. The BlueHouse Project circles around to where it all started. Some funky southern blues, acoustic blues, even a little dash of folk. The new release has picked up strong radio and media support throughout the country. According to Roots Music Report Charts, Ron/BlueHouse Project reached #4 (June, 2017) with White Cotton and #25 (July 2017) on the Contemporary Blues Charts with Piece of the My Heart.