About us

in a nutshell

Nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills is where Ben Ruttenburg and Samantha Francis, the duo at the core of The Bidwells, comfortably reside. They first met while engaging in local community theatre in the early 2000s, and later performed together in a popular cover band. They began to collaborate, writing songs together, recording cover songs outside in Chico's cherished Bidwell Park (which is where they got their name), and sharing their own original material with one another. In January 2020, they began recording their first full-length album which features 14 original songs, and a full band of their friends. In their short time performing as The Bidwells, the duo has performed over 200 shows at a wide range of venues including Feather Falls Casino (Oroville, CA), Chico Women's Club (Chico, CA), Purple Line Urban Winery (Oroville, CA), Secret Trail Brewing Co. (Chico, CA), and a whole host of local restaurants and bars in the Chico area (The Diamond Steakhouse, La Salles, Farm Star Pizza, Tender Loving Coffee, The Maltese). With their combined range of experiences from cover bands to coffee houses, The Bidwells are well-equipped to entertain in nearly any setting, whether it be a a backyard party, intimate living room, or on a big stage under the bright lights. The Bidwells sing songs to break, melt, and mend the heart.