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Live At The Linda: "It's a Family Thing"

 The Sea The Sea/ Mike and Ruthy/ The Gbison Brothers/ The Felice Brothers
Kiki Vassilakis/ Tom Eberhardt Smith/ Gibson Brothers/ Shervin Lainez
The Sea The Sea/ Mike and Ruthy/ The Gbison Brothers/ The Felice Brothers

Each Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. “Live At The Linda” brings you some of the best musical acts to grace the stage at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio. This week, it’s family time at The Linda featuring Mike and Ruthy, The Sea The Sea, The Felice Brothers and The Gibson Brothers.

We’re getting into the holiday spirit this week, no not with holiday tunes and Christmas carols, there’s already plenty of that to go around. No, this week celebrating the gathering of families. Musical families. And how I do wish that we could air an on-stage throwdown from the Oasis Gallagher brothers we are an NPR affiliate and don’t use those kinds of words. We much rather listen to siblings that get along and make some spectacular music.

ON the family shopping list tonight is Mike and Ruthy, The Sea The Sea, The Felice Brothers, and The Gibson Brothers. All recorded here at The Linda, WAMCs performing arts studio.

Husband and Wife team Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar are a harmony duo with a celebrated catalog of original songs. They tour internationally as a family band and with their seminal folk-rock outfit The Mammals, and produce a bi-annual folk festival in the Hudson Valley called The Hoot.

“Some of the best songwriting of their generation.” says High Times. And that is High Praise indeed. This concert comes from 2016. Here is Mike and Ruthy live at The Linda.

Alright, lets hang out with another Musical husband and wife. The Sea The Sea is an Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering over 15 million streams on Spotify. The animated video for their song "Waiting" sparked viral interest including Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and inclusion at the international TED 2015 conference. Mountain Stage host Larry Groce calls them "ready to take their place among the best young male/female duos now performing." Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, earned features by Apple Music including "Best of the Week" and "A-List Singer/Songwriter." Recently, Paste Music /Daytrotter described the band as "defined by their infallible vocal harmonies and their unconventional song arrangements. The Sea The Sea is a pop band only in their melodic infectiousness—otherwise they are at their best when subverting conventions."

This concert is from July 2018. Here is The Sea The Sea live at The Linda.

From husbands and wives onto Brothers on our family affair episode. The Felice Brothers are a folk rock/country rock band from New York. they are a close-knit band of two brothers and two longtime friends. They are self-taught, not one of them played an instrument prior to the bands inception in 2006 when they started busking in New York City subway stations. The majority of their work was recorded in a converted chicken coop in upstate New York near their hometown of Palenville. Esquire, Filter, The New York Times, NPR, Spin, Time Out New York, Uncut, and Under The Radar have praised them, among others. They are on virtually constant tour in the States and overseas, and have performed at festivals including Bonnaroo, All Points West, Outside Lands, Langerado, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Recognized for their live show, The Felice Brothers will play for their audience come hell or high water; a foremost example is their transcendent performance at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival, where they soldiered on, unplugged, in the rain, and barefoot in the mud after a lightning bolt shorted their stages power supply. While we had no such issues at the Linda, they did soldier on and provide us with a fantastic performance. This is from the vault circa 2008. Here is the Felice Brothers live at The Linda.

OK. More brothers. This time, the legendary Gibson Brothers.

Growing up on a dairy farm in northern New York and then traveling around the world in a bluegrass band has given them a unique vantage point on life, and the songs on “Darkest Hour” are a testament to that. “Jerry wanted to hear everything we’d written,” Eric told me, “so we just sent him songs: brand new songs, old songs, there’s stuff on that record 20 years old that we never recorded. We wanted to see what he would do with us as singer-songwriters. We respect him that much. Some of my favorite records are Jerry Douglas produced records. He didn’t disappoint.”

If the Gibson Brothers had stayed in Nashville in 1999 they might possibly be Grand Ole Opry members by now. At the very least they would be hit songwriters on Music Row. But, just like their buddy Del McCoury, they chose family over success (McCoury was in his 50s when he moved to Nashville and didn’t really see major success until he was approaching 60). All they need is someone to shine a light on them. Their talent level is well-established, the only producers they have ever worked with are Ricky Skaggs, Dan Auerbach, David Ferguson and Jerry Douglas. I dare say not many musicians can stack up a list of producers that strong. For the Gibson Brothers though, they just want to keep writing, singing, and standing on a stage. This concert is from way, way back in 2007.

Here are The Gibson Brothers, live at The Linda.

Thanks for sticking with us this week. Tune in next week for the broadcast of our December 16th Holiday Cabaret. For more information about The Linda or any upcoming events follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit thelinda.org.

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Peter Hughes is the General Manager and Programmer/Presenter for The Linda: WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Live Performing Arts Studio. He is also the on-air host of "Live at the Linda" a twice-weekly variety music program on WAMC on-air and online that broadcasts concerts and content both recorded and live from The Linda studio in Albany NY, but also interviews and conversations with artists of all stripes.