In the beginning of The Felice Brothers' career, the band, from New York's Catskills, specialized in rowdy, stompy rock 'n' roll. But the group has spent the last few years exploring the more reflective side of its barroom-friendly, accordion-enhanced sound on albums like the 2011 hit Celebration, Florida.
Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 10:20 am
When Colin Meloy put The Decemberists on long-term hiatus to focus on other projects — including his own set at this year's Newport Folk Festival — the remaining members needed their own fresh musical outlet.
The Brooklyn band Spirit Family Reunion calls its sound "open-door gospel" — as in, gospel music that isn't tied to religion. It's another way of saying that the group plays wide-open songs of celebration, which in Spirit Family Reunion's case add up to a big, high-spirited, old-fashioned, appealingly playful folk-rock ramble, complete with vintage instruments and shout-along choruses performed around a single microphone.
Dana Falconberry's songs are gentle, almost invariably delicate, sometimes mysterious and frequently feather-light. But her music's sweet, intricate softness never stands in for strength: This is a confident songwriter, whether she's ambling through six- and seven-minute epics ("Leelanau," "Dolomite") or chirping sweetly in the bouncy "Crooked River."
As sales of recorded music continue to plummet, the concept of fans "owning" music may soon be considered old-fashioned. Today, it's all about access to music, rather than ownership of an album or a song, and newer streaming services like Spotify are at the center of the storm.