Three-time Newport Folk Festival performers Spirit Family Reunion will release their new album ‘Ride Free’ August 9, their first album in four years.
Fans will notice a wider variety of instrumentation on a number of songs, from electric guitar to a horn section on “Gradual Power,” though their signature harmonies, Maggie Carson’s banjo, and Stephen Weinheimer’s washboard are alive and well.
Banjo player Maggie Carson contributes lead vocals to the rousing old-time tune “When I Get Home” while washboard man Stephen Weinheimer sings vulnerably about a moment of self-doubt in “Moon In The Mirror.” The insightful “Gradual Power” finds the band exploring the cyclical nature of things. Nick Panken wrote “Come Our Way” towards the end of 2016, exploring the balance between individual action and acceptance on the course of events. The band continues its commitment to traditional folk music with a rousing interpretation of the cowboy classic “Whoopie Ti Yi To.”
Of the single, Panken says, “This is a song about self empowerment, solidarity among outcasts, a thirst for trespassing borders that uphold convention. Being alive is the only permission you need to be here. That is your one way ticket, and it’s as valid as the rest. Though our societies invent criteria that inflict very real suffering upon a multitude of beings, we are all entitled to claim dignified lives simply because we are here. Ultimately this is more real than any fabricated rule or restriction, and this song suggests that the validation you need is contained within you.”
Spirit Family Reunion has played Austin City Limits and headlined the Brooklyn Folk Fest; performed an NPR Tiny Desk Concert; joined tours with Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Alabama Shakes, and Levon Helm; and been streamed well over two million times on Spotify.
One Way Ticket
Ease My Mind
Whoopie Ti Yi Yo
Come Our Way
When I Get Home
Would you Would or Would You Won’t
Moon In The Mirror
Spirit Family Reunion tour dates:
August 9 – Annandale On Hudson, NY – Spiegeltent, Fisher Center
August 10 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
August 14 – Manchester, VT – Earth Sky Time Farm
August 15 – Portsmouth, NH – The Press Room
August 16 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
August 17 – Allston, MA – Great Scott (Presented by Newport Folk)
August 24 – Greenfield, MA – Hawks & Reed Ballroom
October 4 – Stratford, CT – Two Roads Brewing