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Atkinson Family Band

We are a family band, rooted in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. We play a style all our own, an acoustic genre of Americana, bluegrass and folk music with a refreshing sound. We compose a lot of the songs we perform, which tell the stories of our lives in the northern mountains of the Adirondacks. Even though our members change, some stay and some go, we are still a family band, have a sound unique to us, and believe that you will enjoy the sound we produce.

Dick is the patriarch of the family. He began an interest in acoustic bluegrass music at a young age. His father introduced him to bluegrass on the record player with the sounds of Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers and traditional country music, with the songs of Jimmy Rogers, Hank Williams, Sr., Ernie Tubb, and Roy Acuff to name a few. He leads the band with his syncopated banjo playing. Dick plays a Deering Tenbrooks and is an endorser for Deering banjos, a Gibson Gold Star and a 1928 Gibson arch top. He also finds himself playing guitar on a few numbers with the Tama that belonged to his father, the HD28 Martin or one of the Atkinson guitars Dick built. Dick has written numerous songs which you will find on one of the many recordings the Atkinsons have produced. He also finds time to produce and record the projects of the Atkinsons in the studio.

Shelene is the matriarch of the family, playing rhythm guitar, and singing lead and harmony. She plays a small bodied "Atkinson" guitar built by Dick or an HD28 Martin. The Atkinson guitar is built with cherry from the family property, has a spruce top. Dick cut and inlaid the shell into the neck of the guitar. Shelene started playing guitar and singing after the children were grown. When the children were growing up, Shelene spent her time listening to Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Rondstat, New Grass Revival with John Cowan, and other acoustic music. She has written several songs that are on the Atkinson's recordings. Shelene does the graphic work on the projects and designs and develops the web page. She loves performing and visiting with the folks at the shows. Stop and say hello, and sit and visit awhile.

Sara, the youngest daughter of the Atkinsons joins us, playing bass. She is joining her sister and mother, singing some lead and harmony vocals as well to make a unique three part female vocal sound. Being brought up in a musical family, there is no doubt she can do the job! We are excited to have Sara along!

Liza is one of the original members of the family band and has returned to play with her family!! We are very excited and happy to have Liza back, chopping the mandolin and singing lead vocals! Liza has developed her own style of singing and playing, through the many years and hard work of playing with her family's band. She has a talent that should be heard and not wasted. She is also a strong rhythm guitar player and sings any harmony you want to throw at her! Please welcome Liza back!

Adam will be taking a break from the band to fulfill other obligations in his life. You can catch him doing solo acts around northern New York and sometimes being joined by his sister Liza and maybe Sara. He was exposed to music at a young age, finding his roots with blues and country rock with a bluegrass twist. Growing up in the Atkinson house, there was always music, and band practice once a week in the living room. Adam is an accomplished guitar player and drives the family band with his strong chunk on the mandolin. He began playing a RAG mandolin and became an endorser for the mandolins, built by Roy A. Gordon. Adam adds a bluesy style to the leads and rhythm of the band, helping to make the original sound of the family band.

Dave comes to us from the eastern Adirondack Mountains, finding his home in a small town named Chilson. In 2003, he ventured to the National Resonator Guitar contest in Todd, NC and took 1st place, making him the 2003 National Champion! We are honored to have him as part of our family band! He is one of the most tasteful inventive players in the northeast. Dave's dobro playing will stand up to any player in the country. Dave plays a Gordan resonator guitar, built by Gordon Lyon and has become an endorser for his instruments. Dave is also an endorser for the Walworth resonator capo. He has performed with some of the best musicians in Nashville, including Dan Tyminski, John Cowan, the Country Gentleman to name a few. He is a north country man and finds his roots in the Adirondack Mountains, like the Atkinsons. Dave is a part of our family!

Earlier Event: September 14
The Fretless - Co-presented by CPS