Ron Fetner's songs combine southern roots, soulful songwriting with contemporary folk storytelling. This musical path led to wins at the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Festival, (2x) gold winner at the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and finalist awards at Merlefest’s Chris Austin Song Contest, Falcon Ridge and Austin Songwriting Group. Performances at MerleFest, South Florida Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Festival, and the Tucson Folk Festival, among others.
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’s 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
“…truly was phenomenal, overwhelming…a unique blend of New England folk and the soul of the South.” – Barry Graham, “Acoustic Highway”, WHRV
“…One of the greatest songwriters I’ve ever known. Ron is able to bring out the old movie projector and I settle in with the popcorn. He will take you there…Brenda Barkley, Talent Buyer-TFAM
Born along the southern shores of Lake Erie, Ron’s first interest in music was sparked by the instruments in the back of one of his grandparents closets. Turns out Ron’s grandfather was a drummer in the 1930’s playing in popular dance bands throughout Western New York (which Ron documented in his song “Midnight Revellers”). By the time Ron was 12, his family relocated to the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. The move south brought on piano and saxophone lessons, then guitar. Ron’s earliest access to recorded music was what was playing on the radio. His preferences drew him to what now we call the Roots, with its combination of rock, blues, country and folk. “I was just starting to learn guitar, so it was all very inspiring.” The high school years were spent playing in several local bands.
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, he had the opportunity and joined 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 (Steely Dan, Grass Roots) before they passed on us. “It was disappointing, 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 bands.
In 1997, after a move to the Tidewater area of Virginia, Ron finally had enough original songs under his belt to release his first solo CD entitled “This Box I'm Looking Through”. “This Box” caught the attention of Public Radio’s “The Folk Sampler with Mike Flynn” and WHRO/Barry Graham’s “Acoustic Highway”. Acoustic Highway and The Folk Sampler got Ron’s songs heard nationally. Shortly, other stations were playing Ron’s music. “Chevy Blue” was even featured on NPR’s Car Talk. Ron was named a “Gold” 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. 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” was released in 2009, containing “Don't Burn the Zion Church” and “Carolina Rain”. Following were songwriting awards at Doc Watson's/Merlefest Chris Austin Song Contest, Falcon Ridge's Emerging Artist Showcase, and the Austin Songwriter Group.
In 2011, Ron and harpist Tom Dikon teamed up to release EP “Watch Your Step” and win the Tidewater IBC Blues Challenge and headed off to Memphis for the finals. Next in 2012 Ron was offered the opportunity to play and sing on blues great, Eddie Shaw's award-winning CD, “Still Riding High”.
Ron Fetner released “BlueHouse Project” in 2017. This collective recording circles back around to where it all started, some funky southern blues, acoustic blues, even a dash of folk. The BlueHouse Project enjoyed 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”.