From the Adirondack foothills - The Atkinson Family

Honed in the iron-laden foothills of the Adirondack’s Western reaches, the Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band has a sound reverberating with the traditions of Bill Monroe’s music, while at the same time incorporating new grooves and new tones. This band swings and drives through Stanley Brothers-style mountain songs about life in the rural country, bitter bluegrass hollers about lost love and betrayal, gospel songs lamenting lost souls and spooky minor key murder ballads.
The Atkinson Family will be performing a Folkus Project concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, 3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Doors open at 7:30 and refreshments will be available.
In addition to performing a range of bluegrass standards and contemporary tunes from Del McCoury, Gillian Welch, Iris Dement and the Grateful Dead, the band churns straight ahead with its freight train rhythm pulse on a host of original songs, many of which are featured on their 2004 cd, “Tearin Up the Line,” and “Listen to the Radio,” released in 2005. In May of 2007, the Atkinson Family signed with the Master Shield Corporation out of Bridgewater, Virginia. The first release with Master Shields is a gospel project, Angels Rejoice, to be released July of 2007.
"Just a few short years ago a talented, audience grabbing bluegrass band appeared from out of nowhere (well actually from the little town of Harrisville in New York State's rugged North Country). That band was, and is, the Atkinson Family, talented musicians and singers committed to preserving traditional bluegrass ballads, instrumentals and gospel songs.....," said Bill Knowlton, host of "Bluegrass Ramble" on WCNY-FM, Syracuse.
The Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band sound is one of tight three-part family harmonies from guitarists Liza and Shelene Atkinson and banjo linchpin Dick Atkinson; with the driving rhythm interplay of mandolinist Adam Atkinson. The band is joined by well known and respected bass player Jim Treat of Weedsport, NY and dobro player Dave Bevins from Ticonderoga. Dave was crowned the 2003 Resonator Guitar National Champion in a contest in Todd, N.C. Bevins has played with Dan Tyminski, now a member of the Allison Krauss band. He has also played with the Country Gentleman,
Lonesome River Band and in 2004 released a CD project with New Grass Revival alumni Pat Flynn and John Cowan of Nashville.
The Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band plays regularly at bluegrass festivals and performances in the Northeast and points south.
"I had the pleasure of hearing the Atkinsons. They possess a special vocal blend that deserves to be heard. They sing with power and conviction. I'm proud to call them neighbors," said Eric Gibson of the Gibson Brothers.
In February of 2007, the Atkinson Family band secured 8th place out of 29 bands in the annual SPBGMA band championship held in Nashville, TN. It was the band’s first attempt at the high pressure contest. They won first place in the Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in 2004, took first place in a band competition at the Vermont Family Festival a few years ago, and were the guest performers for the American Consulate General in Quebec City and have garnered Honorable Mention in the Prairie Home Companion’s Best Bands from Towns Under 1,000 contest. Their music is played regularly on Bill Knowlton’s Bluegrass Ramble radio show and Barbara Heller Burns String Fever, both on public radio. You can also hear them on bluegrass radio stations in the Northeast, Australia, Kentucky, Canada and on the World Wide Web.
Admission to Friday’s show is $18. For reservations, email tickets@folkus.org or call 440-7444. For more information on the Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band, log on to atkinsonfamilybluegrass.com.

Rating: 1.9/5 (12 votes cast)

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