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Winnipeg Folk Festival Profile: Spirit Family Reunion

June 24, 2014 10:58 AM | Entertainment

By Winnipeg Folk Festival, special to ChrisD.ca

Spirit Family Reunion

Spirit Family Reunion (HANDOUT)

Spirit Family Reunion is a band best heard on a back porch stage, with friends and neighbours gathered at the steps and joining in with a holler and hand-clap. Winnipeg Folk Fest audiences will get to feel that spirit at the intimate daytime stages at the festival’s home at Birds Hill Park in just two weeks.

The six-piece band got their start in New York City, but their sound isn’t as slick as the city they hail from. These young revivalists are bringing back the music of the American bluegrass and gospel that sounds like it was forged on dusty barroom floorboards in south Virginia.

Armed with an upright bass, washboard, fiddle, banjo and guitar, the Family’s raucous live show was crafted out of necessity. Back when they would busk in subways and farmers markets, everyone was going about their business and they had to hoot and yell for attention. In no time, people began to take notice an they’ve since shared stages with the likes of Trampled by Turtles, Old Crow Medicine Show and Carolina Chocolate Drops and have even played the iconic Newport Folk Festival.

Their latest album, No Separation, was self-released with a songbook of lyrics and chords as an encouragement for their fans to sing and play along. Their shows are participatory – there will be no divide between band and audience at a Spirit Family Reunion show.

Spirit Family Reunion plays July 12, 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Green Ash, July 13 from 11:00 a.m. to noon on Green Ash, and again on July 13 from 2:15-3:45 p.m. on Bur Oak. For a full line-up and information visit winnipegfolkfestival.ca.

Folk Fest runs July 9-13.