Emily Smith, Editor in Chief
Family and Friends entertained Savannah for the first time in a year at the Jinx this past December. The seven-member crew continues to gain momentum with their new album “XOXO” which was released after their performance at the Savannah Stopover in 2015, which garnered the group a massive amount of popularity, leaving them poised to play again in March at Savannah Stopover 2016.
The septet is eccentric in their own right, made up of two drummers, three guitarists, a violinist and when they’re feeling froggy, seven vocalists. Their individual talents come together to create a heart-pumping, foot-pumping version of indie folk rock that is one of a kind.
Percussionists Alejandro Rios and Ryan Houchens are known for feeding off the show’s hype and energy with flying drumsticks and barefoot instrument climbing as they keep the floors rattling. This energy paired with the sounds of a violin makes for a unique combination.
The talented bassist Tuna, brings an unexpected head banging performance as well as being credited with Flagpole magazine’s “Best Musical Beard of the Week” award last January.
The group is rounded off by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Mike MacDonald, who leads the group’s upbeat performances with relatable and catchy lyrics that are easy to sing and chant along to.
Since releasing their first album two years ago, “Love You Mean It,” Family and Friends hard work has earned them the Flagepole Athens Music Award for Artists of the Year in 2014, as well as the Upstart Band award. Fans travel from all over the state and beyond to sing along to their well-crafted songs about both life and love, recently filling another show at the Georgia Theater on New Year’s Eve. This year’s Stopover show will be no different and if it’s like every other show of theirs, it will be packed.
As their extensive travels reveal unending support from their followers, their motto “good people, good music,” rings true, as the vibe that they create is something that simply has to be experienced in person.