Spotlight on: Akron/Family

Image Courtesy of Akron/Family

“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that.”

-Woody Guthrie

I may never forgive myself for missing Akron/Family’s only ever Sydney gig at the Annandale Hotel in December, the first time this mid-west American nu-folk band has visited these shores.  Blogged reviews of Akron/Family gigs paint pictures of wild jam-band revelry, folk-inspired psychadelia and a wild, unhinged energy.

In their 2009 Album, Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free, Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton and Dana Janssen have crafted something that moves effortlessly from chaotic prog-rock clatter to haunting folk harmonies that begins simply in the hills and rivers around their hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania and grow to embrace an energetic and spiritual new America.  It is an album that doesn’t necessarily flow from one track to another, but instead the ideas seem to bounce and jumble together in a sort of unified cacophony. For me the standout track “The River” seems a kind of call-to-arms, an awakening.  It is typical of an album that signals the re-emergence of the band since vocalist Ryan Vanderhoof left the group in 2007.

Folk music is about sharing, and Akron/Family’s folk sensibilities have also spawned “Woody Guthrie’s America”, an on-line project inspired by the legendary folk icon that asks people from across America to share their story by learning the same song, and uploading their unique version to the web.   Music as a means of storytelling is not new, but the  ‘Woody Project’ gives us a hint of the kind of digital campfire that we might use now and in the future to grow and develop our own folk stories.

Rest assured that the next time they visit these shores, tour dates will be posted prominently on these pages!

country of Origin: America
Sounds like: Village People meet Carlos Castaneda on a Vision Quest…. (acording to the band:))
File under: psychadelic-folk, nu-folk
Official site:


  1. January 6, 2011 at 14:52

    […] new Akron/Family album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT is due out mid-March (or February in the […]

  2. January 7, 2011 at 09:29

    […] you were a fan of the Akron/Family track we posted yesterday, “So It Goes”, then we recommend you check out its official […]

  3. March 24, 2011 at 13:23

    […] famous cello-line in the bridge; this song is perfectly odd- like something you’d expect from Akron/Family. It is followed by the more conventional “Crazy Like Me” which is a song that I think […]

  4. March 31, 2011 at 10:26

    […] an idea for now, Vetiver belong to that freak-folk crowd from the New Weird America movement- think Akron/Family, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Castanets, Grizzly Bear, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: