Bumbershoot Music Lounge: Akron/Family

photos by Dave Lichterman
intro by Jason Kinnard

With a tie-dyed flag on the front of their new album, Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free it’s clear the Akron/Family have their own take on American music. Calling New York and Pennsylvania home, they were formerly a 4-piece band before founding member Ryan Vanderhoof left the band in 2007 — the band used to tour as a 7-piece. Now, only Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky, and Miles Seaton remain, yet carry on the Akron/Family tradition. The re-arrangement has done little to deter the band and they actually seem to be revitalized by the new line-up, signing on with Secretly Canadian. Their take on American music is a fusion of classic “jam bands”, acid rock, freak folk, and American psychedelia; obviously taking a page out of the playbook of multiple genres. They draw comparison to the Grateful Dead, but the music wouldn’t sound similar to the casual fan. In fact, it’s probably the close connection between performer and crowd that appeals to the band more than the “jam” aspect of the Dead. A band well known for the raucous live shows, they settle things down having less band members on the stage, but they’re still known to drag the occasional audience member on with them. We can’t wait to see what they do in the secret Music Lounge.

The band is currently on tour and has a number of tour dates listed on their website. If you miss them in the Music Lounge they are also playing later on the Broad Street Stage at 6:00 PM.

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