Spotlight on the New Familiars

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 15, 2007

Spotlight on …
The New Familiarsperforming Saturday night at Las Palmas
Charlotte-based band The New Familiars will be bringing their potent blend of poetry, blues, folk, rock and country to Las Palmas this Saturday night.
With soaring harmonies, a clever sense of musical story-telling and a shifting blend of instruments from song to song, they wrap lyrical-driven folk music into a harmonic package laced with all sorts of different styles and subtlety. Their rowdy, genre-challenging blend of folk, rock and blues brings the Avett Brothers to mind, but they also credit such diverse influences as Dylan, Beatles, Johnny Cash, Jane’s Addiction, Radiohead, Woody and Arlo Guthrie and Coldplay.
The band began as a collaboration between childhood friends Justin Fedor (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo) and Eric-Scott Guthrie (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo). Next they convinced another old friend, James Stratford (vocals, bass) to move away from metal and funk and join up with them. Then Josh Daniel (vocals, dobro, lap steel, guitar) who had previously established a following as a solo musician in Charlotte’s music scene, brought another dimension to the group.
And now, drummer Ryan Ramirez, previously a band member before moving to New Jersey, has returned to The New Familiars, adding a solid back beat to the already rambunctious group. Fedor says of Ramirez, “He was my bandmate years ago in a group called None the Wiser, and we all feel like he is the long lost brother returned.”
Their original songs are collaborative efforts, with each member bringing their varied experiences and influence to the writing process. The result is a unique roots-derived sound.
The band has been touring up and down the East Coast. Calling themselves “fiercely independent” with no label, they do all the booking and work themselves.
According to the band members, they are “really excited to be headed back to Las Palmas, and Salisbury in general.” They added, “We always have a great time there. The people are fantastic. We’re looking forward to seeing our friends from up there, as well as meeting new ones.”
Check out The New Familiars’ music at
The New Familiars will be appearing at Las Palmas Southwestern Restaurant, 122 E. Fisher St., Saturday night. The show starts around 9 p.m.
For more information, call 704-636-9475.